Prison in Cairo (Archive photo)
Photo: Reuters
Egyptian Christians detained by police - rights group
Canada-based Christian rights organization says its spokesman, another member arrested in Cairo. 'Government is trying to stop us from working in Egypt,' president says

Egyptian police detained the spokesman of a Christian rights organization and one of his colleagues on Saturday, the organization's president said.


Police before dawn broke into the Cairo homes of Wagih Yakob, 45, spokesman for the Middle East Christian Association, and another member of the group, detaining both, said Nader Fawzy, president of the Toronto, Canada-based group.


"They haven't done anything at all," Fawzy said. "The government is trying to stop us from working in Egypt."


Police confiscated the computers and mobile phones of the two men, said Fawzy, whose organization has a mission statement calling for secularism, and equality and full citizenship for Christians living in the Middle East.


A spokesman for Egypt's Interior Ministry said he had no information about the detentions.


Police detained two other members of the group in August who had helped a man who converted from Islam to Christianity. Both had been released from prison earlier this week, Fawzy said.


Christians account for up to 10 percent of Egypt's population, which is majority Muslim.


Egyptian Christian groups have complained about an increase in arrests and harassment in recent months. A US Government report in September said Egypt had seen a marked decline in religious freedom and while Egypt's constitution provided for freedom of belief, the government restricted those rights.


פרסום ראשון: 11.10.07, 11:42
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