Egyptian Student in Jail for Denouncing Persecution of Coptic Christians

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Patrick Zaki

Patrick Zaki is a student at the University of Bologna, Italy. When he went to spend a vacation in his homeland, he was arrested and tortured.

Newsroom (17/09/2021 16:30, Gaudium Press) The case of Patrick Zaki is another example of how freedom is not a commodity, namely in certain Islamic countries. According to international observers, Egypt is one of the countries respecting Christians the most.

Patrick is an Egyptian student at the University of Bologna, Italy, considered one of the most important universities in the world. However, he has been arrested in Egypt. The reason? Allegedly, Patrick was accused of spreading “false news inside and outside the country.”

He has already spent 19 months in prison awaiting for the trial that finally began on September 14. The hearing is taking place in Mansura, 130 kilometres from Cairo.

Patrick’s ‘crime’

In 2019, Patrick published an article about the persecution of Coptic Christians. “This article,” Patrick Zaki said, “is just an attempt to follow a week in the daily life of Egyptian Christians.”

“For Christians in Egypt a month does not pass without 8 or 10 painful incidents,” the student continued. “From attempts to displace them from Upper Egypt, to kidnappings, closing a church, something blowing up, or even the murder of a Christian. The conclusion is always ‘mental disorder,'” he claimed.

On February 7, 2020, Patrick arrived in Egypt for a brief vacation. His final destination was his hometown, Mansura.

However, he barely got off the plane in Cairo when he was arrested and subjected to a 17-hour interrogation.

As reported by Aleteia, members of the National Security Agency blindfolded him, handcuffed him, beat and tortured him, applying electric shocks.

Last Tuesday, September 14, 19 months after his arrest, he appeared handcuffed at the defendants’ courtroom during the hearing. After just 5 minutes, it was decided that the trial would be adjourned until September 28.

In those brief 5 minutes, dozens of family members, activists, and two Italian diplomats could see Patrick. The case is a painful reminder of the risks involved when talking about religion in certain Islamic countries.

 

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