Egypt Christians Detained For Their Involvement In Website

Friday, August 10, 2007

By BosNewsLife News Center

CAIRO, EGYPT (BosNewsLife) -- Two Egyptian Christians remained detained late Thursday, August 9, after police detained them for their work on the Web site of a Christian Arab group based in Canada.

Adel Fawzi and Peter Ezzat were arrested for their activities as senior members of the Cairo branch of Middle East Christian Association, which has its headquarters in Ontario, Canada, and has a Web site with the address, BosNewsLife learned.

Lawyers had reportedly complained to the prosecutor general that the organisation and its Web site "insulted Islam and the prophet Mohammad on behalf of diaspora Copts", said a police source on condition of anonimity.

Their lawyer, Mamdouh Nakhleh, however said the two worked as a reporter and photographer for the Canada-based organization. He said he believed they would face a hearing as early as Saturday, after the Friday Muslim day of rest.


It was not immediately clear what kind of work Fawzi and Ezzat did for the organisation, which has a mission statement calling for secularism, and equality and full citizenship for Christians living in the Middle East, Reuters news agency reported.

Headlines on the Web site include: "Islam began alien and will revert to being alien", "Is Mohammad a messenger from God?" "This Web site reveals the true face of Islam."

Copt Christians living abroad, especially those in North America, have tended to be more hostile towards Muslims and towards the Egyptian government than Copts living inside Egypt, Reuters news agency said. An Interior Ministry spokesman said he had no information on the detentions.

Cases of torture of suspects inside Egyptian police stations and state security detention centers have drawn much attention after several incidents of reported police brutality. Copts make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population and have increasingly experienced tensions with militants of majority Muslims. (With BosNewsLife's Eric Leijenaar).

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