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ICC Note: Bishoy Boulous Armia, a Christian convert who is currently imprisoned in Egypt continues to suffer as he awaits the court to rule on one of two separate cases. Having been abused by prison guards, he’s reportedly started a hunger strike to press for just treatment. He has faced incredible persecution since he publicly sought to change his religious identity on his national ID card. He has now been charged with reporting on persecution of Christians in Egypt and is being held on charges of blasphemy for converting away from Islam.

12/05/2014 Egypt (Christian Today) A high-profile Christian journalist in Egypt, imprisoned and tortured for converting from the Muslim faith, is reported to have begun a hunger strike in prison.

Bishoy Boulous Armia, once known as Mohammed Hegazy, was sentenced to five years in prison in July, allegedly accused of causing “sectarian strife”. Bishoy is a journalist and had reportedly been investigating Islamist attacks on the Coptic Christian community in the country.

According to the report by Front Page Magazine, Bishoy’s lawyer, Karam Ghobrial, reports that he has “vowed to starve himself to death”.

“Bishoy is imprisoned in the execution room in violation of the law,” Ghobrial is reported to have said. “Trumped up charges against him have not been proven and he is being treated even worse. He has not seen the light [of day] since being released from Minya’s misdemeanor court.

“The [current] judge is behaving in a prejudiced manner in this case because Bishoy had public announced his conversion to Christianity.”

When Bishoy and his wife, Katerina, converted in 1998, they faced serious persecution. Egyptian converts are not allowed to change their religion on their identity papers, and Bishoy had publicly challenged that law in court.

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