Noted convert in Egypt arrested, likely tortured comment (0)
December 19, 2013
CAIRO, Egypt — Egyptian authorities recently arrested a Christian who is arguably the nation’s most well-known convert from Islam and are investigating him for several activities, including allegedly inciting “sectarian strife.”
Bishoy Armia Boulous, 31, formally known by his Muslim name, Mohammed Hegazy, was arrested Dec. 4 at a cafe in the city of Minya. It is likely that he is being tortured, sources said. Security forces said he had a camera and four flash drives when they arrested him and claimed he was working for The Way TV, a Coptic Christian-owned, U.S.-based religious television channel that broadcasts into Egypt via satellite.
Security forces claimed that Boulous was contributing to a “false image” that there is violence against Christians in Minya. Those familiar with Boulous said his arrest had nothing to do with any reporting work but constituted retaliation for becoming a Christian.
Boulous gained fame, and many would say infamy, across Egypt when he decided in August 2007 to file a legal case to have his religion and name changed on his government-issued identification card. In a country where 84 percent of Egyptian Muslims polled in 2010 said the state should execute those who leave Islam, Boulous became an extremely controversial figure, and his face was plastered on newspapers and magazines across the country.