Coptic Christian Released After 2 Years in Pretrial Detention in Egypt

          (Kamel, Photo: The Christian Post)

A Coptic Christian activist, Ramy Kamel, who was in prison in Egypt for over two years for speaking against the maltreatment faced by Coptic Christians in the nation has been released by the authorities. This development has been praised by religious freedom advocacy groups.

The charges labeled against Kamel for his arrest were described by the U.S Commission on International Religious Freedom as “spurious.” Also, Coptic Solidarity, an advocacy group, condemned the activist’s arrest.

The charges against Kamel include joining a terror group and broadcasting false information and receiving foreign funding. However, his supporters claimed he was arrested because of his human rights activism and journalism.

There has been an outpour of gratitude following the release of Kamel. While reacting to the good news, Richard Ghazal, executive director of advocacy group, In Defense of Christians said in a statement available to The Christian Post, “We applaud the Egyptian government for the release of Ramy Kamel. While the Egyptian government of President Sisi, in recent years, has demonstrated incremental progress through constitutional reforms, there is still much more work to be done to afford Coptic Christians equal citizenship in their native homeland.”

A spokesperson for the U.S State Department, Ned Prince, also issued a statement to Al-Monitor State Department Correspondent Elizabeth Hagedorn saying, "We welcomed the release this weekend of activists Ramy Kamel and Ramy Shaath from pre-trial detention in Egypt. We encourage the government of Egypt to continue additional releases of long-term detainees."

Also, Jeff King, the president of International Christian Concern said in a statement that irrespective of the victory, the fact is that Egypt has long forced Christians to live on the edge of society.

King said, “Despite this victory, we cannot ignore the fact that Egypt has a long record of pursuing superficial human rights changes in an attempt to manage its international reputation. But Egypt’s human rights record is equally clear: the situation is very bad. And for Christians, who are already forced to live on the edge of society, the consequences can be devastating.”

Similarly, Kenneth Roth, the executive director of human rights advocacy group Human Rights Watch, made a post on Twitter on the issue. He said, “Great that President Sisi’s Egyptian government finally releases Coptic rights activist Ramy Kamel after wrongfully forcing him to spend two years in detention. He never should have been jailed. There are tens of thousands of imprisoned Egyptians like him.”

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