Press Release

For Immediate Release

14th August 2007

URL www.unitedcopts.org  

The United Copts of Great Britain condemns the arrest and imprisonment of Dr Adel Fawzi and Mr. Peter Ezzat the president of Egypt branch of and a member of the Middle Eastern Christian Association respectively.

Dr Adel Fawzi and Mr. Peter Ezzat were arrested on 8th August 2007 by the Egyptian police in Cairo following police raid of their flats, smashing and damaging their furniture, tearing up mattresses, confiscating desk tops, lap tops computers, and copies the MECA book “Persecuted” which enlists large numbers of crimes committed against Christians in Egypt where police was complacent or complicit. Both Dr Adel Fawzi and Mr. Peter Ezzat were then taken to Egyptian State Security Headquarter in Lazoghly, Cairo where they are being interrogated till now. 

It is understood that the accusations levelled against them includes  that: Dr Adel Fawzi has allegedly taken part in converting and in hiding the converts to Christianity Mohamad Hegazi and his pregnant wife,  also allegation that both supervised an internet chat group with Mohamad Hegazi when he strongly rebutted the Egyptian Media false accusations that Mohamad Hegazi made his conversion for worldly gain. Mohamad Hegazi declared that his Christian faith is genuine , that by abandoning Islam he exposes himself and his wife to severe retribution and possible death penalty  by Muslim fundamentalists for his apostasy following a smear campaign by the several Egyptian Newspapers to dishonor him. 

It is also understood that the charges will include the infamous charge of "Contempt of Heavenly religion" a charge which has been used against Christians and in particular converts from Islam.There are tens of thousands of conversion form Christianity to Islam every year, some of these conversions are coerced conversions which goes unpunished. 

 It is noticed that the law article 98”H” for Contempt of Heavenly religions is used only against converts from Islam to Christianity, while Muslims fundamentalist when they attack and defame Christianity are never persecuted, there are numerous cases of contempt of Christianity by imminent Muslim writers and even prominent Muslims scholars went unpunished over the past three decades or more that it is more appropriate to rename this notorious law as a law against contempt of “Islam” rather than “Heavenly religions”.

The Egyptian police must stop persecuting converts to Christianity. United Copts GB considers that 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 converts to Christianity 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 and to immediately release Dr Adel Fawzi and Mr. Peter Ezzat.      

 

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