Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Detained Christians Face Electrocution and Severe Torture by the Egyptian State Security Intelligence

Written by Coptic American Friendship Association
FEBRUARY, 12, 2010

As we have previously reported, the Egyptian SSI has randomly arrested and detained about 40 Christian Copts in Naga Hammadi, Qena on January 8th, a day after a radical Muslim group sprayed Copts after the Eastern Orthodox Christmas prayers with gun fire killing six Copts and seriously wounding nine others.

The SSI intended to blackmail the families of the victims and the head of the local Coptic parish in Qena, Bishop Kirillos, by arresting the Christians asking the bishop to be silent about the incident along with the victims' families. The SSI threatened the bishop not to talk to the media and not to file any law suits against the state government in return of releasing the detainees. However, when the facts about the massacre became public, the SSI began to increase the torture of the Christian detainees, who have not been charged with specific charges to date.

According to recorded voice interviews taken place within the last 2 days with the parents and/or other family members of the detainees, who were finally allowed to see their detained family member where they are imprisoned currently at "al Wadi Al Gadeed" prison, it is confirmed that all of the remaining 15 Copts in prison have been tortured by high voltage electric cables connected to their private parts several times daily, beaten with metal elements, forced to sleep on cold water and spat on their faces.

Several of them had to be seen by prison doctors as they needed catheters for uncontrollable urination. Coptic American Friendship Association has copies of the voice interviews where the family members express in details and tears the current condition of their loved ones who were just released or are still imprisoned. According to their families, the tortured Coptic Christians were also threatened if they do not testify that the Naga Hammadi's bishop had played a role in igniting the violence that they would face ongoing torture and their release would not happen.

It is obvious that the SSI has released the Christian Copts who were under 21 years of age after torturing them for a few weeks to avoid any future legal responsibility. The ones that are still jailed believed to all be over 21 years old. One doctor described the medical and psychological condition of the released Copts as "beyond repair". The names of the detained Copts are:

Wael Milad Samoeel
Fady Milad Samoeel
George Nasry Sadeek
Youhanna Masoud
Mina Boktor Kirolos
Razaik Romany Gadallah
Bishay Maher Zekry
Emad Wanees Mofeed
Hany Nabil Ibraheem
Hany Zaher Ibraheem
Milad Badee Risalah
Mamdouh Fawzy Nasry
Milad Nagaah
Rafaat Refaat Adly
Nashaat Zaher Zekry

The Egyptian SSI has been repeatedly accused of torture by many organizations, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and other international commissions as well as Egyptian civil and human rights groups. These organizations have also indicated SSI involvement in sexual abuse and humiliation of detainees (male and female) and for targeted persecutions of Christians.

Coptic American Friendship Association urges the United States Department of State, House's Human Rights Caucus, and Foreign Affairs Committee to immediately communicate with the Egyptian government asking for the release of those innocent Copts who face severe torture because of their religion.

For more information:

Ihab Aziz
Executive Director
Coptic American Friendship Association (CAFA)
Washington , DC . USA

Coptic.American@yahoo.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

703.337.5217 Ph.

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