The charity CSW (Christian Solidarity Worldwide), is calling for the release of an Egyptian Coptic activist who has been detained for more than two years awaiting trial.
Rami Kamil is a prominent human rights activist and a founding member and co-ordinator of the Maspero Youth Union, a Coptic human rights organisation that emerged following a massacre in 2011 in which over 20 Coptic protesters were killed when the military attacked a peaceful civil rights protest. His work documents human rights violations against his religious community in Upper Egypt which has seen church burnings and the kidnapping of female minors.
Mr Kamil is currently facing terrorism charges, but the charity says it is widely believed he was targeted because of his human rights work documenting violations of the right to freedom of religion or belief.
According to Article 143 of Egypt's Code of Criminal Procedure, the maximum period of pre-trial detention must not exceed six months for defendants accused of crimes punishable by up to three years in prison, 18 months for crimes punishable by up to 15 years in prison and two years for crimes meriting death or life imprisonment.
CSW’s Founder President Mervyn Thomas said:
“It a serious injustice that Mr Kamil has now been detained for over two years without facing trial. He is innocent of the excessive charges against him, and the fact that he has been held for longer than the maximum permissible period of pre-trial detention in Egypt indicates a lack of respect for due process and rule of law in relation to his case. We continue to call for his immediate and unconditional release and urge Egypt to create a safe enabling environment for the peaceful defence of fundamental human rights.”
Egypt is currently ranked Number 16 on the Open Doors 2021 World Watch List of nations where it is hardest to be a Christian.