On 22 June, Federal MP Jamie Briggs (Mayo, Lib.) made a speech in the House of Representatives drawing the Parliament’s attention to the arrest in Egypt of American-Israeli Ilan Grapel. Mr. Grapel was arrested earlier this month for alleged involvement in espionage and formenting sectarian strife in Egypt. As Mr Briggs rightly points out: “These allegations at best seem far-fetched and when you consider that Mr Grapel is a regular visitor to the Middle East and had entered Egypt under his own name on his own passport [and] was posting daily messages on Facebook, the allegations do raise significant concern.”
Mr Briggs also commented: “This is similar, sadly, to the five year anniversary of the detention of Israeli citizen Gilad Shalit, who has been held by Hamas since 2006.”
Mr Briggs called on the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd, to make representations to the Egyptian Ambassador. Mr Briggs ended his speech by stating: “This is not the path the world wants to see Egypt follow. We want Egypt to become a tolerant and open society that respects the rule of law. This does not indicate that path.”
To view the full transcript of Mr Brigg’s speech click here, see page 110.