Free Bishoy Armyia (the former Mohammed Hegazy)
from prison where he is held unjustly under false pretenses
Egyptian Interim President Adly Monsour
General Abdel Fatah Al Sisi, Minister of Defense of Egypt
Mohammed Hegazy [now Bishoy Armyia] has been detained in Egypt for allegedly inciting ‘sectarian strife’. Sources are concerned he may be tortured.
Hegazy, 31 – now widely known by his Christian name, Bishoy Armyia – was arrested [on December 3] at a café in Minya, Upper Egypt. Security forces claimed he’d been working for a Christian satellite TV channel and contributing to a ‘false image’ that Christians in Minya are a target for violence.
[It is believed] his arrest was yet another attempt to persecute Egypt’s ‘convert from Islam’ [and an act of revenge].
Bishoy Armyia was the first Egyptian ever to file a legal suit to seek to change his religious identity on his ID card. As a result, he received death threats, forcing him into hiding. He had previously been arrested and tortured because of his conversion.
[Egyptian] court ruled against him on the grounds that Sharia (Islamic law) forbids anyone to leave Islam. [In January 2010, Voice of the Copts submitted an urgent appeal via the European office of ACLJ to the international court on his behalf to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief.]
An appeals court [in Egypt] suspended his case indefinitely in 2010. His case has been on hold since the 2011 revolution, as the constitution is revised. (Source: Morning Star News)
All signers of this petition are requesting that Egyptian authorities release Bishoy Armyia from prison as soon as possible and prior to Eastern Christmas.