Dear Friends,

 

We are writing to you to report the worrying case of Mr. Baha al-Aqqad. Middle East Concern report that Mr al-Aqqad, a Christian convert from a Muslim background, disappeared on April 6th 2005. He is said to have sent a text message to a friend, asking him to visit him at the Doqqi State Security Prison. However, when the friend arrived, along with Mr al-Aqqad’s wife, prison officials denied all knowledge of his whereabouts. Since then no-one has had any contact with him.

 

Prior to his conversion, Mr al-Aqqad was a member of an Islamist group and had been detained several times by security police. However, Christians in Egypt believe that the motives behind his recent arrest lie with his conversion to Christianity, although his history only amplifies concerns over his safety. 

 

Christian leaders in Egypt have asked for letters of protest to be sent on Mr al-Aqqads behalf to the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak and the Minister of Justice, Mahmud Abu el-Leil. Please consider using the sample letter below and sending it to the addresses provided, including the Egyptian Ambassador to the UK, to register your protest at Mr. al-Aqqads treatment.

 

Please pray for Mr al-Aqqad, his wife and his friends at this worrying time.

 

 

Your Excellency,

 

I am writing you to express my concerns over the case of Mr. Baha al-Aqqad, from Giza, who has not been seen since April 6, 2005. According to information I have received, he managed to send a message to a friend to come and visit him in Doqqi State Security Prison. When the friend arrived there with Mr. al-Aqqads wife, the officials denied that he was there. Since then no one has seen him or heard from him.

 

His friends believe that he is held by the State Security at an undisclosed location without being allowed visits from his family or a lawyer. According to my information Mr. Aqqad has not committed any crimes, nor has he been charged with doing so. It is believed he is being treated in this way due to his conversion to Christianity.

 

I respectfully petition your intervention in this case to ensure that the basic human rights of Mr. al-Aqqad are upheld and that he is granted access to his family and a lawyer. If the reason for his detention is indeed the peaceful practice of his internationally recognized right to choose a religion, I respectfully petition for his immediate release.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

 

President Mohammad Hosni Mubarak

President of the Arab Republic of Egypt

Adedine Palace,

Cairo,

Arab Republic of Egypt

 

Mahmud Adu el-Leil,

Minister of Justice

Ministry of Justice

Midan Lazoughly

Cairo

Arab Republic of Egypt.

 

Mr. Adel. El-Gazzar,

Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt,

26 South Street,

WIY 6DD