Friday, May 15, 2009

Egypt Unsafe for Copts

A Coptic Christian has been kidnapped in Egypt and put under pressure to convert to Islam.

According to reports, the incident took place on May, 6 2009, when four bearded Muslim men broke into the home of a Coptic Christian family in Alexandria, armed with swords, sticks and knives, assaulted their son, bundled him into an unregistered car waiting in front of the house and disappeared.

The terrorized neighbours were fearful and did not stop them, according to an appeal received by the Middle East Christian Association. When the Coptic Basily family knew of the kidnap of their 21-year-old son Mina, they went to "Montaza" Police Station to report the incident.

"A police officer came with us and saw the blood all over our home due to all the serious injuries and broken bones caused by the assault on our son, questioned the witnesses who all confirmed our story, and made an ‘unofficial’ report," said Ms. Cecile, the victim"s mother.

"However, when my husband went with him to the police station to issue a formal report, the officer flatly refused", she went on.

The Coptic family found no alternative but to go to the office of the General Counsel of Alexandria/East with an appeal to give them an order to the Montaza Police Station to issue an official report of the kidnapping, which he approved and signed.

"Still the officers at the police station refused this order, tore the paper into bits and said bluntly "We will never issue this report," said Ms Cecile.

The Basily's had to seek this time the help of the Chief Prosecutor of the Montaza district to force the police officers to issue a report. Finally the police had to succumb and issue the incident report.

The victim's mother Mrs Cecile Basily sent a distress message to the renowned Egypt4Christ organization, asking for help to find her only son.

The organization learned yesterday that the captors handed over Mina to the Montaza police, and that the investigating officer was told by a Muslim girl's family living in the neighbourhood, that Mina had a relationship with their daughter Asma Osman. However, the girl has been hidden away by her family to prevent the police questioning her, and exposing the truth of Mina's innocence, says Egypt4Christ.

The young Copt Mina is now detained at the State Security in Alexandria where it was learned that he is being pressured to convert to Islam and marry the Muslim girl.

For more, contact Religious Intelligence Africa Desk.

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