Egyptian police torture and beat believer in attempt to force her reconversion

By December 30, 2008

Egypt (MNN) — A report by ASSIST News Service states that while attempting to escape ongoing persecution in Egypt, a Muslim convert was raped and tortured.

Martha Samuel, an Egyptian Muslim who converted to Christianity five years ago, was arrested at the Cairo airport as she was leaving for Russia with her family. Police have promised to release her if she returns to Islam.

In a story covered by the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA), the Egypt for Christ ministry reports that police officers sexually assaulted Samuel both at the National Security office in Heliopolis and at the El-Nozha police station. In a continued attempt to force her return to Islam, police also beat and tortured Samuel. According to AINA, Samuel's children, aged four and two years old, are being denied food to increase pressure on Samuel. Her husband has been taken to the National Security office in Alexandria.

AINA said that the family was trying to travel to Russia using a passport belonging to Samuel, whose former name is Zainab Said Abdel-Aziz. The passport was under Samuel's Christian name, which is on a list of people prohibited from leaving the country. Since converting five years ago, Samuel has undergone continued persecution by Egyptian police, and her own family has tried to murder her.

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