Middle East and North Africa

Coptic Christian boy found dead in police custody

Tharwat Sameh, a 19-year-old Coptic Christian boy has been found dead with “torture marks” on his body last week (24 July) two days after his arrest by the Egyptian police on unknown charges.

Tharwat Sameh

Images of Sameh’s body shared on social media under the hashtag #Tharwat in Arabic, showed bruising, burn marks and indications of whipping.

In a similar incident on 17 July Gamal Aweida also arrested by the Egyptian police was  found dead about 15 hours after being taken away by the police. The reasons for both arrests have not been made public.

Amnesty International issued a statement regarding Aweida’s death said, “The evidence strongly suggests that Gamal Aweida was tortured to death by Egyptian police,” and called for immediate investigations into the death.

Coptic Christians in Egypt have been persecuted by their Muslim neighbours and  targeted for elimination by the Islamic State (IS) in the Peninsular.

The deaths of the Coptic Christians in the custody of the police raises concern about the persecution of Christians in Egypt. Neither the police nor the eyptian government have made any comments on the deaths.

 

Hassan John is West Africa Editor GCN and a priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos

Image Credit; Tharwat/ArabNews. CC by Egyptian Police/Flickr