Christian youths who were arrested without warrant following an attack on believers leaving a Christmas Eve midnight mass service in Nag Hammadi, Egypt (click here and here to find out more) have reportedly been severely tortured at the hands of authorities.
The following excerpt from Assyrian International News Agency explains the deplorable treatment these young believers went through:
Two days after the shootings, nearly 100 Coptic teenagers as young as 15 were arrested randomly without warrants from the streets and their homes in Nag Hammadi and the neighboring villages.
The arrested youngsters were tortured and released without charges after nearly one week, except for 15 who were charged with "rioting and resisting the authorities" on January 24, and sent to detention camps; 13 went to the New Valley Camp, 700 km south of Cairo and 2 went to Alexandria. It is not known how they are being treated there. "When we visit them, there is always supervision," said one relative.
Those that were released confirmed that they were beaten and subjected to electrocution. They were asked by security forces to falsely testify against Bishop Kyrollos that he incited them to make demonstrations.
Bola (surname withheld), 18, said that he was picked up from the street at 6.30 on January 8, and taken to the police station. Next morning they were blindfolded, with their hands tied behind their back, and transferred to the State Security prison in Nag Hammadi. "We had to take our clothes off, and we were electrocuted with electrodes in our private parts for 8 hours." He said "Electric shocks only stopped when we could take it no longer -- only to be resumed again."
Reziky (surname withheld), 17, said he was picked up by the police from the street and was taken the next morning blindfolded to State Security prison. He described how they underwent electric shocks by being made to take their clothes off, stand barefooted, and drenched with water. "They electrocuted us through our private parts," he said. "We were threatened by security that if we disclosed what went on, we will be re-arrested." A relative of Reziky told an investigator he believes that Reziky and the others Coptic boys were also sexually abused by the police.
Coptic News Bulletin conducted an aired interview with the brother of a 15-year-old teenager who was released, He wanted to remain anonymous for fear of revenge from State Security. "They tortured my brother, and the other Copts. They were flogged and electrocuted through their private parts. The doctor said that none of them will be able to father any children or get married," he said sobbing "He did not tell us exactly what happened. He is ashamed." He said that the police wanted them to falsely accuse Bishop Kyrollos of inciting them to go out on demonstrations. The brother said that his brother is under medical treatment but is suffering psychologically and is afraid to venture out of his home.
[Click here to read the rest of this report]
At this time, please consider standing in solidarity with these young men and their families.
First, please pray. Pray for their physical and emotional healing. Pray that they and their loved ones will remain steadfast in their faith (1 Peter 5:8-10). Pray that those who tortured them will repent and come to Christ. Pray that authorities will act justly in this case. Pray for strength and safety for the 15 who remain in detention.
Second, please contact your MP, the Egyptian Embassy, and other authorities and voice your concern for these youths and the torture they endured. When writing please do not mention The Voice of the Martyrs, advance your political opinion, or include anything which could be insulting to authorities.
In Canada, you can write to your MP postage free at:
House of Commons
The address to the Egyptian Embassy in Canada is:
Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
His Excellency Shamel Elsayed Nasser, Ambassador
454 Laurier Avenue East, Ottawa, ON, K1N 6R3
Tel: (613) 234-4931, 4935 Fax: (613) 234-9347/234-4398
For other addresses you can write, click here. To learn more about how to write effective letters to officials, click here.
Finally, please share this story with your friends and family and ask them to join you in standing with these brothers in Egypt.