Lawyer: ‘Egyptian Convert’s Arrest Linked To Leaving Islam
ICC Note: As Bishoy Armia, also known as Mohammed Hegazy, awaits a verdict to be handed down on December 28th, the real reason for his arrest is not the charges against him. His lawyer said, it’s really his conversion that has put him behind bars. The charges brought against him have no evidence, Karam Ghobrial said.
ICC has been working behind the scenes in Washington to press for Bishoy’s freedom. You can get involved here: Free Bishoy
12/09/2014 Egypt (World Watch Monitor) The first Egyptian citizen to attempt to change his legal religious identity from Muslim to Christian, Mohammed Hegazy, has been in jail for a year now, awaiting a verdict on separate misdemeanor charges, due on Dec. 28.
Hegazy faces a five-year prison sentence if an appeal court upholds his conviction last June, when he was ruled guilty of “illegally filming anti-Christian demonstrations” in Upper Egypt’s Minya governate.
But his lawyer, Karam Ghobrial, told World Watch Monitor that he is “optimistic” that the appeal court judge will overturn the conviction, simply because no evidence was produced to prove the allegations against his client.
Ghobrial contends that the real reason Hegazy was arrested and then kept in custody on minor charges is because he is publicly known for the case he tried to open in 2007 to legalize his conversion to Christianity.
In a Nov. 23 appeal hearing before Judge Ahmed Abdel Aziz el-Ghool of the Minya Misdemeanor Court, Ghobrial declared that there was no proof that his client had broken any law, nor had the Christian convert even been arrested legally.