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05/07/2020 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – Egyptian authorities have extended for 45 days the detention of Christian human rights activist, Rami Kamil. The extension occurred without the presence of Kamil and his lawyers, who today are appealing the decision. He was arrested this past November by police and later charged with joining a terrorist organization, receiving foreign funding, and inciting sectarian tensions between Christians and Muslims. He had been interrogated without the presence of his lawyer and his detention has been extended on multiple occasions. Because of the risk of COVID-19 in prisons, the international community has repeatedly asked the authorities to release Kamil, but to no avail.

The authorities are using these false charges to prevent Kamil from writing about religious freedom abuses. He is the founder of a youth union which was founded after the 2011 Maspero Massacre, when the military killed 27 peaceful Christian protesters demonstrating against a church demolition. He has been an activist for religious freedom before several international bodies, including the United Nations. The Egyptian government has cracked down significantly against free speech, and Kamil’s arrest shows how this policy can effectively silence others from speaking about the challenges faced by Egyptian Christians.

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