Thursday, January 04, 2007

Egyptian Christian Claims Torture

Unfortunately, persecution stories are rarely front page news. Sometimes, however, they do surface in major newspapers and television networks. I think that one obvious benefit to such coverage is that it brings the issue of religious persecution into the public eye. Even those who aren't Christians, or even religious, have to react when they hear that people are being tortured for their faith. It is, at the very least, an outright violation of human rights. Even those who don't share the faith of the victim must acknowledge that such injustice and brutality cannot be ignored.

A few weeks ago, a news story about an Egyptian man who claims he was tortured for being a Christian was covered by CTV news. I think it is a important very article to read. For me, it proves the necessity of bringing a deeper awareness and understanding of persecution to our country. We can profess our willingness to be a multicultural society all we want, but that does not mean that we can assume that we know everything about the conflicts and tensions afflicting other countries.

We cannot simply accept it when we hear governments say that discrimination is not officially sanctioned; we cannot always believe those who say that "No one is persecuted." If you read the January edition of our newsletter, you will see that Egyptian Christians are very much suffering for their faith. In fact, I can honesty say that it was not until I started working on this month's newsletter that I fully grasped the nature of Egypt's persecution. If you are interested in learning more about persecution in Egypt, I encourage you to read it.

Here is an abbreviated version of the CTV story. (If you would like to read the full and original article, click here.)

"Man deported to Egypt tortured, CTV reports

Immigration Minister Monte Solberg says his department is looking into allegations an Egyptian man denied refugee status in Canada was tortured after being deported to his homeland, CTV News reported Wednesday.

"Anytime these kinds of allegations are made and people produce evidence, obviously we take it very seriously," Solberg told CTV. ``My department is looking at it and we are gathering the facts."

"Obviously, if we find there are grounds to it, we will take appropriate action," he added, though he declined to discuss what those actions might be.

The man, a Christian from Egypt whose name was withheld in the CTV report, came to Canada in 2002 seeking asylum.

CTV News reported he made a refugee claim, alleging he was persecuted in his home country, but was deported in September.

CTV News broadcast photographs and videotape, allegedly of the same man, which show fresh injuries on his back.

CTV reported he claims the injuries were inflicted by Egyptian authorities during interrogations in which he was shocked, doused with water and beaten.

"I feel very afraid. Very afraid. Save me please. They tortured me," a man said on a tape played by the network.

"No one is persecuted," Egypt's ambassador to Canada told CTV from Ottawa.

"Officially, discrimination is absolutely unacceptable," Mahmoud El-Saheed said, after viewing the tape. "Torture is a very serious crime, which no one condones."

Pray that the truth about Christian persecution will be truthfully and effectively brought to the world's attention.

1 comment:

egyptian dust said...

thankyou for writing about this issue. This stuff doesn't make it to the papers.