Sameh Khouzam, a 38-year-old Egyptian Coptic Christian, is seeking asylum in the US. He fled from Egypt nine years ago to escape forced conversion to Islam. The US, however, is threatening to deport him back to Egypt — where he will likely face torture or death.
“Christian fears torture if deported,” by Bob Unruh for WND:
A Coptic Christian from Egypt is battling for a court ruling to allow him to remain in the United States and avoid the sure torture he would face under Egypt’s Islamic law, according to his supporters.
Sameh Khouzam, 38, who has been in the United States for about nine years already, is facing a court date June 18, when a decision will be announced on that deportation order.
His supporters say the issue is the torture he would face if returned to Egypt, which he fled under threats from Muslims who demanded that he and his family members convert to Islam.
A spokesman, Sam Grace, said because Egypt’s constitution says that laws derive from the Quran, the persecution of Christians there is not only allowed, but endorsed, by government officials.
“In the last 10 years, more than 5,000 Christians have been massacred in Egypt,” he told WND. “Hundreds of businesses and homes first have been looted, then burned and destroyed. Churches have been burned and destroyed.
“And you know what? Not one Muslim has been indicted, let alone convicted,” he said.
“Especially on Friday, after the Friday prayers, the Muslim mobs are incited on attacking Christians,” Grace told WND. “It happened last Friday. Mobs attacked businesses and burned them, and Christian homes and two churches in Alexandria.”
“The life of a Christian in Egypt is now worth zero. Every Muslim now knows killing a Christian [is not prosecuted,]” he said.
A report from the Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights concluded that Coptic Christians in Egypt have been harassed, tortured and killed by Muslims for 1,400 years already.
“They have been subjected to all kinds of hate crimes including, the abduction of young Coptic girls, the killing of Coptic women and children and the destruction of their places of worship,” the report concluded.
So what about Khouzam?
In Khouzam’s case, a federal court banned his deportation based on the threats he’s reported. But now administration officials are planning a deportation anyway, citing “diplomatic assurances” from Egypt that the man will not face torture. His arguments are being pursued by Human Rights Watch and others, who are arguing that the use of torture in Egypt is so routine and well-documented deporting Khouzam would expose him to harsh treatment and violate the Convention Against Torture.
That prohibits foreign citizens from being repatriated to countries where they stand a reasonable chance of being tortured.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, an agency created by Congress, lists Egypt on its watch list of countries, noting that it had “a poor overall human rights record.”
Egypt is considered by the Bush Administration to be one of the model Middle Eastern democracies. Think again.
Crossposted from The American Israeli Patriot.