Noted Convert in Egypt Imprisoned Again

Monday, July 28, 2014

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

CAIRO (Worthy News)-- An Egyptian convert to Christianity recently released to appeal his disputed conviction for "inciting sectarian violence" was imprisoned again on charges of "defaming Islam," according to Morning Star News.

Security officials Monday sent Bishoy Armia Boulous -- formerly known as Mohammed Hegazy -- to the Ministry of Interior to face blasphemy charges filed five years ago.

In 2009, two Islamist lawyers charged Boulous with defaming Islam after he filed a lawsuit to force the Egyptian Ministry of Interior to change the religious affiliation on his state-mandated identification card from Muslim to Christian.

Boulous's accusers claimed that the very act of leaving Islam sullies the religion's reputation; Boulous, now 31, left Islam when he was 16.

Karam Ghobriel, one of Boulous' attorneys, told Morning Star News that the Ministry of Interior charged Boulous with violating both Article 98f -- defaming a revealed religion -- and Article 161: perverting a holy book. Boulous was later charged with two counts of violating Article 102: inciting public sedition.

Because Boulous is a convert, they wanted to keep him in prison, said Ghobriel.

The blasphemy case against Boulous comes two years after its three-year statute of limitations was up, but Ghobriel said that Boulous' faith is getting stronger and he feels that God is giving him strength.

A hearing on Boulous' appeal is scheduled for Nov. 11.