Sunday, August 12, 2007

Egypt in uproar over Christian convert case

The story (link)

Some notable excerpts, His first lawyer resigned from the case:

His first lawyer – Mamdouh Nakhla, director of the Al Kalema Center for Human Rights – withdrew from the case Tuesday after claiming his decision was base on “national unity” and alleging that Hegazy did not give him the documents that proved Egyptian authorities rejected his application.

“If you add the state of alert in Egyptian society, and to protect the feelings of our Muslim brothers, and to protect our national unity…we decided to abandon this case,” said Nakhla, according to Reuters. However, some reports have claimed that the lawyer was threatened by Egypt’s security police who said he would be killed if he continued the case. During a press conference at Nakhla’s office, one of the staff members at Al Kalema Center reportedly shouted, “He is being threatened, he is doing this under pressure,” according to Compass Direct News.

And the second is now in custody:

Furthermore, the Christian convert’s new lawyer – Dr. Adel Fawzy Faltas, president of the Middle East Christian Association (MECA) in Egypt – is said to be detained by the Egyptian police after holding a high-profile online chat with Hegazy, according to Compass.

Faltas, 61, was arrested from his Cairo home Wednesday afternoon. His home was reportedly raided Thursday by officials who confiscated two laptops and a desktop computer.

"They cut up the mattresses, tore everything up and took all the books as well," said Nader Fawzy, head of the Canada-based MECA, who has close contact with various leaders of MECA’s Egyptian branch, according to Compass.

Fawzy said that Faltas had been blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back when he was arrested.

The rest of the members of the Christian rights group is said to be in hiding. A third lawyer, Ramses Raouf el-Nagar, has now taken up Hegazy’s case.

And the family:

The case has garnered national attention with some Egyptian newspapers giving it front page coverage, according to Reuters.

When asked why he has chosen to fight for legal Christian status, Hegazy explained that his wife was four months pregnant and he wanted his son to be raised openly as a Christian.

No comments: