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Egyptian Convert to Christianity Tortured, Raped in Egypt

ICC Note

Martha converted from Islam to Christianity five years ago. She was tortured and raped by Egyptian security officials after she was arrested while trying to leave the country.

By Jeremy Reynalds

12/19/2008 Egypt (ANS)-Martha Samuel, an Egyptian Muslim who converted to Christianity five years ago, was arrested at Cairo airport on Wednesday as she, her husband and two sons (four and two years old) were leaving for Russia. Her name was on a list of people prohibited from leaving the country.

According to a story by the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA), the Egypt for Christ Ministry is reporting that Martha Samuel has been sexually assaulted by Egyptian police officers at El-Nozha police station as well as at the National Security office in Heliopolis .

AINA said Samuel has also been beaten and tortured in an attempt to force her to return to Islam. The police have promised to release her if she returns to Islam.

AINA said that Samuel (and her children, who are also under arrest), is to be transferred from the National Security office in Heliopolis to Al-Qanater prison after seeing the “renewal judge.”

AINA said the children are “deliberately” not being provided with food in order to pressure their mother to return to Islam. Fadl Thabet, Martha’s husband, has been taken to the National Security office in Alexandria (Somoha District).

AINA said that Samuel, whose former name is Zainab Said Abdel-Aziz, and her family were trying to travel to Russia using a passport with her Christian name. AINA said that was so she could escape ongoing persecution by the Egyptian police and her own family, who have been trying to kill her for five years as a result of her conversion.