Press Release

For Immediate Release

2nd November 2006

URL www.unitedcopts.org

The UCGB condemns the arrest and imprisonment of Sheikh Bahaa el-Din Ahmed Hussein el-Akkad, aged 57 at the hands of the Egyptian government.  Sheikh Akkad is currently imprisoned in Wadi el-Natroun Prison, Egypt for conversion from Islam to Christianity

Sheikh Akkad was imprisoned without charges for more than 18 months after officials of the State Security Investigation (SSI) arrested him in Cairo on 6 April 2005, he was subjected to repeated interrogations, the former Muslim was not told the specific accusations against him.

Sheikh Bahaa el-Din Ahmed Hussein el-Akkad was later charged under Penal Code 98H of the Egyptian Criminal Law (which is usually abused to stop Muslims from converting to Christianity in Egypt), in total disregard and careless infringement of Human Rights Laws and Treaties which Egypt is a signatory of. 

When the courts finally ordered Bahaa's release from provisional detention 10 weeks ago, SSI authorities deliberately ignored the ruling. Instead, they held him in their Gaber Ibn Hayyan office in Giza and then transferred him to the Wadi el-Natroun Prison. 

This is not the first time the Egyptian police persecutes Christians or converts to Christian faith, there is a long list of shameful discriminatory behaviors from the Egyptian police over the past three decades ranging from failure to prosecute perpetrators of violence against Christians to actively take part in torturing Christians to force a false confession to exonerate a Muslims murderers as happened in El-Kosheh  1998 to failure to provide evidence against Radical Muslims who murderer 21 innocent Christians in cold blood resulting in the murder of the Christians went unpunished.  

The Egyptian police must stop persecuting converts to Christianity. Freedom of religions is a fundamental Freedom; its provision is mandated under all Human Rights laws and treaties.  

The United Copts of Great Britain ask the Egyptian government to review its position regarding the Freedom of religion and demand the Egyptian government to allow Muslim convert to practice their newly found faith freely which is guaranteed under articles 40 and 46 of the Egyptian Constitution. 

The United Copts of Great Britain ask all Human Rights Organisations and governments to press upon the Egyptian government to comply with International laws and Treaties to observe its obligation under its own constitution in providing Freedom of Religion for Muslims to convert from Islam.    Tel +44 7976710729


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