ast updated: Wednesday January 26, 2005

Breaking News - Friday November 19, 2004

EGYPT : AUTHORITIES REFUSE TO CHARGE CHRISTIAN PRISONER

Jailed Copt’s ‘crime’ kept secret.

 

Hany Samir Tawfik

November 19 (Compass) — An Egyptian Christian jailed without charges since March 2003 has become emotionally disturbed and lost vision in one eye from torture and lack of medical treatment, his widowed mother declared last week.

HanyInitially detained for 52 days at Lazogly, Cairo’s notorious State Security headquarters, Hany Samir Tawfik has been continuously jailed since he was re-arrested 21 months ago, on March 3, 2003.

Tawfik, 28, was arrested at the Cairo international airport upon his return from Saudi Arabia on June 15, 2002. Saudi authorities had reportedly deported him back to Egypt, saying the Coptic Christian had been suspected of wanting to marry a Muslim girl and convert her to Christianity.

 

Hany Tawfik's mother

motherAccording to his mother, Tawfik had asked for asylum from the U.S. Embassy several months after he arrived to work in Riyadh. But since he was an Egyptian national, not a Saudi, the embassy said it was obliged by international law to turn Tawfik over to the Egyptian Embassy.

'Severe Mistreatment'

However, no known charges were filed against Tawfik before an Egyptian court. So after nearly two months of what the young man’s family and acquaintances described as “severe mistreatment” at Lazogly, he was set free.

But seven months later, he was again arrested by security police, who sent him to Torah Prison near Helwan, outside Cairo. Several months later, he was transferred to Al-Gharbaliat Prison, located in the desert near Alexandria, where he now remains.

Tawfik Refused to Spy on Pastor

According to Tawfik’s family and church sources, police re-arrested him when he refused their demands to spy on an evangelical Christian pastor known to be ministering among Muslim converts to Christianity.

Hany said after the police picked him up, they showed him the house of this pastor and said they would only release him if he agree to spy on him and his activities,” his mother told Compass. “When he refused, they put him in jail.”

The pastor in question confirmed to Compass that he had known Tawfik three years ago, when he began attending a Coptic evangelical church. “I consider him my spiritual son,” the pastor said.

Harassment Targets Those who Proselytize Muslims

Although Egypt’s constitution and laws do not specifically prohibit proselytizing, individuals suspected of helping Muslims convert to Christianity are subject to heavy police harassment and regularly arrested for either “insulting heavenly religions” or “inciting sectarian strife.”

First registered as a political prisoner, Tawfik was re-classified in January 2004 under criminal statutes. His most recent case file number, issued by the Abbassiya Police Station in Cairo on August 3, was listed as No. 13826.

Although lawyers have submitted court objections to Tawfik’s detention without charges, the police have used Emergency Law regulations to re-arrest him every 45 days, minutes after the court orders him released.

Security authorities approached by the local press and diplomatic missions claim Tawfik remains in jail awaiting a decision from the interior minister on his case, which allegedly involves issues of “national security.”

'Forget Your Son!'

Tawfik’s mother said State Security officer Ahmet Mustafa told her bluntly, “Forget your son!” But he refused to say why he was under arrest. The officer claimed he had no jurisdiction over her son, whose case he said was being handled in person by Egypt’s interior minister, Habib el-Adly.

His alleged “crimes” have never been made public.

Tawfik’s mother has appealed directly to Interior Minister Habib el-Adly to release her son in an open letter published by two Cairo newspapers. Watani newspaper printed her letter of appeal on October 17, followed by the liberal El-Osboa weekly on November 8.

His mother’s persistence to win her son’s release has brought repercussions from State Security officials. Once last year, two police officers knocked at her door at 4 a.m., forcing her to get up and accompany them to the police station to “discuss” her son’s case with them.

“I have been suffering over my son for nearly two years now, without any hope,” Tawfik’s mother said.

Her son has been brought back to a police station in Cairo’s Shobra district at least twice, presumably to appear briefly in court. Although unable to visit him since he was moved to Al-Gharbaliat, his mother has been allowed to meet him a few times in the police station, she said.

Tawfik complained of “black water in my right eye” this past spring in letters shown to Compass which he wrote from prison. “He has lost complete use of his right eye now,” his mother said.

Tawfik’s mother said her son told her the police had taken away his Bible and destroyed it in front of him. “He cried when the authorities ripped it up and then went on to hit and beat him,” she said. “He said they told him he was a ‘special’ case, so they had been told to give him extra suffering.”

Widowed six years ago, Tawfik’s mother has one younger son. She remains unemployed since her husband’s death due to a prevailing heart condition.

 


 

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Last updated: Wednesday January 26, 2005

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 Breaking News - Friday November 19, 2004

 

EGYPT : AUTHORITIES REFUSE TO CHARGE CHRISTIAN PRISONER

 

Jailed Copt’s ‘crime’ kept secret.

 

Hany Samir Tawfik

 

November 19 (Compass) — An Egyptian Christian jailed without charges since March 2003 has become emotionally disturbed and lost vision in one eye from torture and lack of medical treatment, his widowed mother declared last week.

 

Initially detained for 52 days at Lazogly, Cairo’s notorious State Security headquarters, Hany Samir Tawfik has been continuously jailed since he was re-arrested 21 months ago, on March 3, 2003.

 

Tawfik, 28, was arrested at the Cairo international airport upon his return from Saudi Arabia on June 15, 2002. Saudi authorities had reportedly deported him back to Egypt, saying the Coptic Christian had been suspected of wanting to marry a Muslim girl and convert her to Christianity.

 

Hany Tawfik's mother

 

According to his mother, Tawfik had asked for asylum from the U.S. Embassy several months after he arrived to work in Riyadh. But since he was an Egyptian national, not a Saudi, the embassy said it was obliged by international law to turn Tawfik over to the Egyptian Embassy.

 

'Severe Mistreatment'

 

However, no known charges were filed against Tawfik before an Egyptian court. So after nearly two months of what the young man’s family and acquaintances described as “severe mistreatment” at Lazogly, he was set free.

 

But seven months later, he was again arrested by security police, who sent him to Torah Prison near Helwan, outside Cairo. Several months later, he was transferred to Al-Gharbaliat Prison, located in the desert near Alexandria, where he now remains.

 

Tawfik Refused to Spy on Pastor

 

According to Tawfik’s family and church sources, police re-arrested him when he refused their demands to spy on an evangelical Christian pastor known to be ministering among Muslim converts to Christianity.

 

Hany said after the police picked him up, they showed him the house of this pastor and said they would only release him if he agree to spy on him and his activities,” his mother told Compass. “When he refused, they put him in jail.”

 

The pastor in question confirmed to Compass that he had known Tawfik three years ago, when he began attending a Coptic evangelical church. “I consider him my spiritual son,” the pastor said.

 

Harassment Targets Those who Proselytize Muslims

 

Although Egypt’s constitution and laws do not specifically prohibit proselytizing, individuals suspected of helping Muslims convert to Christianity are subject to heavy police harassment and regularly arrested for either “insulting heavenly religions” or “inciting sectarian strife.”

 

First registered as a political prisoner, Tawfik was re-classified in January 2004 under criminal statutes. His most recent case file number, issued by the Abbassiya Police Station in Cairo on August 3, was listed as No. 13826.

 

Although lawyers have submitted court objections to Tawfik’s detention without charges, the police have used Emergency Law regulations to re-arrest him every 45 days, minutes after the court orders him released.

 

Security authorities approached by the local press and diplomatic missions claim Tawfik remains in jail awaiting a decision from the interior minister on his case, which allegedly involves issues of “national security.”

 

'Forget Your Son!'

 

Tawfik’s mother said State Security officer Ahmet Mustafa told her bluntly, “Forget your son!” But he refused to say why he was under arrest. The officer claimed he had no jurisdiction over her son, whose case he said was being handled in person by Egypt’s interior minister, Habib el-Adly.

 

His alleged “crimes” have never been made public.

 

Tawfik’s mother has appealed directly to Interior Minister Habib el-Adly to release her son in an open letter published by two Cairo newspapers. Watani newspaper printed her letter of appeal on October 17, followed by the liberal El-Osboa weekly on November 8.

 

His mother’s persistence to win her son’s release has brought repercussions from State Security officials. Once last year, two police officers knocked at her door at 4 a.m., forcing her to get up and accompany them to the police station to “discuss” her son’s case with them.

 

“I have been suffering over my son for nearly two years now, without any hope,” Tawfik’s mother said.

 

Her son has been brought back to a police station in Cairo’s Shobra district at least twice, presumably to appear briefly in court. Although unable to visit him since he was moved to Al-Gharbaliat, his mother has been allowed to meet him a few times in the police station, she said.

 

Tawfik complained of “black water in my right eye” this past spring in letters shown to Compass which he wrote from prison. “He has lost complete use of his right eye now,” his mother said.

 

Tawfik’s mother said her son told her the police had taken away his Bible and destroyed it in front of him. “He cried when the authorities ripped it up and then went on to hit and beat him,” she said. “He said they told him he was a ‘special’ case, so they had been told to give him extra suffering.”

 

Widowed six years ago, Tawfik’s mother has one younger son. She remains unemployed since her husband’s death due to a prevailing heart condition.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Copyright © 2005 Compass Direct

No material on this site may be reprinted or redistributed without special, written permission from Compass Direct

 

 

باللغة العربية

 

السيد حبيب العدلى وزير داخليه مصر سيفحص هذه القضية شخصياً

 

بقلم عزت اندراوس

 

 

قبض أمن الدولة فى مصر على قبطى أسمه هانى سمير توفيق منذ مارس 2003 وقد قام البوليس فى مصر بتعذيبه فى السجن قد اصبح تائها  لا يعى ما يقول وفقد البصر فى احدى عينيه من شدة التعذيب ولم يسمح له البوليس بالعلاج , هذا ما صرحت به أمه .

 

وقد أكدت الأنباء  أنه سجن 52 يوماً فى لاظوغلى حيث توجد إدارة أمن الدولة خصصتها حكومة مصر لتعذيب المسيحيين والمسيحيات الذين يتم القبض عليهم لأسباب مختلفه  , وقد اعيد إعتقاله مرة أخرى من مباحث امن الدولة فى مصر فى 3 مار س سنة 2003 م لمدة واحد وعشرين شهراً

وكان هانى سمير توفيق ويبلغ من العمر 28 سنة قد ألقى القبض عليه فى مطار القاهرة بعد عودته من السعودية فى 15 يونيو 2002م وكانت السلطات السعودية رحلته إلى مصر قائلة أن هذا المسيحى القبطى مشتبه فى أنه كان يريد ان يتزوج من فتاة مسلمة وأنها أرادت أن تعتنق المسيحية وقد أبلغت السلطات المصرية وقام أمن الدولة بالإنتقام من القبطى هانى بتعذيبه داخل السجون المصرية  .

وقد طلب هانى سمير توفيق حق اللجوء من السفارة الأمريكية فى الرياض ولكنها أعتذرت بسبب القانون الدولى لأنه مصرى وليس سعودياً وأنه يجب ان يقدم الطلب من القاهرة .

 

وحينما قدم للمحاكمة فى مصر خرج حراً بعد أن قدمت عائلته مستندات على تعذيبه فى لاظوغلى على يد ذبانية جهنم فى أمن الدولة فى مصر .

وبعد عدة أشهر قبض عليه أمن الدولة مرة أخرى ,وقد ارسل إلى سجن طرة بالقرب من حلوان خارج مدينة القاهرة ونقل بعد ذلك إلى سجن الخارباليات Al-Gharbaliat Prison الذى يقع فى الصحراء بالقرب من الإسكندرية  , وما زال مسجونا حتى الآن

 

سُجن لأنه رفض التجسس على كنيسته

 

أما سبب سجنة العجيب هذه المرة هو أن هانى سمير توفيق  قد رفض طلب امن الدولة فى مصر بالتجسس على قس المسيحيين الإنجيليين   الذى يبشر ويعظ المسلمين الذين اعتنقوا المسيحية  , وقال هانى أن البوليس عندما قبض عليه أخذه وأراه بيت القس الإنجيلى وقالوا له انهم لن يفرجوا عنه حتى يتجسس على القس ويخبرهم عن أنشطته , ولكنه عندما رفض وضعوه فى السجن .

وقال القس البروتستانتى أنه يعرف هانى سمير  توفيق منذ ثلاث سنين وهو يحضر إلى الكنيسة بإستمرار ويعتبره الأبن الروحى له .

 

وفى مصر ترك البوليس وأمن الدولة المجرمين ومهربى المخدرات واللصوص وأصبح شغله الشاغل الهجوم على المسيحيين والمسلمين الذين اعتنقوا المسيحية وملئ السجون بهم  ومحاولة عرقله تصاريح بناء الكنائس وحماية الجماعات الإسلامية التى تهاجم المسيحين فى القرى والنجوع  .

 

وقد لفق البوليس له التهم  كالعادة فى يناير 2004 م , وأحدث ملف له صدر من نقطة بوليس العباسية  فى القاهرة فى 3 أغسطس وكان رقمه 13826

وقد قال المحامى أن هانى سمير توفيق قد سجن بدون جريمة  ولكن البوليس استعمل قانون الطوارئ للقبض عليه كل 45 يوما , بعد أمر المحكمة بالأفراج عنه .

وفى النهاية قرر البوليس السرى فى مصر بعد الضغط الدوبلماسى أن هانى سمير توفيق سينتظر فى السجن حتى ينظر وزير الداخلية  حبيب العدلى حالته شخصياً .

 

مباحث أمن الدولة تقول لأمه : " أنسى ابنك "

 

 

وقد قالت ام هانى سمير توفيق أن ضابط المباحث أحمد مصطفى قال لها : " أنسى أبنك " وقد رفض أن يصرح لها ما هى تهمته 

كيف تنسى أم ابنها يا بوليس مصر

وقد طلبت الأم من السيد وزير الداخلية حبيب العدلى فى خطاب نشر فى جريدة وطنى 17/ أكتوبر/ 2004م ونشر الخطاب فى جريدة الأسبوع فى  8 نوفمبر 2004م

 

وتحاول الأم أن  تحصل على الأفراج عن إبنها من مباحث أمن الدولة , وتقول أن السنة الماضية سمعت طرقاً على الباب الساعة الرابعة صباحاً , وعندما فتحت الباب وجدت أثنين من ضباط المباحث يطلبون أن تأتى معهم إلى مركز الشرطة لمناقشة قضية ابنها معهم .

وتقول الأم : " اننى قاسيت كثيرا من اجل الإفراج عن أبنى ما يقرب من سنتين ولكن بدون بارقة من الأمل "

 

وقد احضروا أبنى إلى نقطة بوليس شبراً مرتين ليحضر المحكمة  , وقد ألغى البوليس فى مصر زيارة أمه له حيث أنه موجود فى سجن الخاربليط بالقرب من السكندرية ومسموح لها فقط أن تراه عدة دقائق فى اقسام البوليس التى يرسل إليها .

وقد أستولى البوليس على الإنجيل الذى يقرأ فيه هانى سمير توفيق وقد بكى حينما قطعوا الإنجيل أمامه حينما راوه يبكى ضربوه ضرباً مبرحاً وقد قالوا له أنه قضية خاصة وعندهم امر أن يجعلوه يقاسى من تعذيبهم .