A Christian teen who is believed to have been kidnapped by a Muslim radical a month ago was given a new Muslim identity and is being held by the security services, her brother has revealed.
As reported, 18-year-old Hanan Adly Girgis was discovered missing from her family's home in Esna, a village in Upper Egypt, when some of her brothers returned during the night. After a search failed to find Hanan, her brothers and their lawyer made a formal complaint to the police, accusing a neighbor, a Muslim radical identified as Mohamed Ahmed Nubi Soliman, 27, of her kidnapping. Soliman admitted a connection with the incident but local police took no further action and he was set free.
This week, Hana's brother, Rezeiky, heard from the Civil Status Authority at Esna Police Station that the Christian teen had been given a new ID card by national security services.
The family went to the national security HQ in Luxor to demand they set her free, but officers there denied holding her or having any knowledge of her whereabouts. Family and friends then protested outside the security office, demanding the return of Hanan and singing Christian worship songs.
Rezeiky told World Watch Monitor that officers then came out and attacked the protesters and "insulted" him.
"They broke the leg of my 23-year-old brother and wounded my older brother, Amir, who's 28," he said, adding that they "dragged my mother and beat my three aunts".
Security forces used a fire-station car to disperse the crowd, and twenty people were arrested. Five were released later the same day, the rest the next day after the intervention of church leaders.
Romany earlier explained to WWM why he thinks the neighbor kidnapped Hanan: "Our neighbor, Mohamed Ahmed Nubi Soliman, told us he saw a Tuk-Tuk [small taxi] stop next to our home at midnight and saw two men carry something to it. We think this neighbor is one of the kidnappers because he hates us, and, when we asked him about who the people with the Tuk-Tuk were, he wouldn't answer."
He added that Soliman has often caused trouble for the Girgis family, alleging he's also involved in illegal activities.
According to the Girgis family's lawyer, Barsoum Wahba, there has been no progress with the case, despite protests outside the police station by friends and family of Hanan, and authorities have shown little interest in pursuing an investigation.
"They promised us many times that they would help return Hanan but they have done nothing," Hanan's brother, Romany, said, according to World Watch Monitor. "We don't know why they don't help us. Is it because we are Christians, or do they connive with kidnappers to take Christian girls to convert to Islam? We accuse them of apathy and complicity."
"There is a state of police indifference towards the case of Hanan," added Wahba. "They did nothing to help the brothers...They said 'give us two days and we will bring her back,' but these are words without actions. They aren't serious even though they know they have the capability to know where Hanan is and who kidnapped her.
"Because the victim is a Christian girl we see inaction. It is a farce. We want people to deal with us as human beings and not deal with us as second-class citizens. We feel we have no rights."
Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population of more than 90 million people, have long complained of discrimination in the predominantly Muslim country. Currently, the country ranks 21st on Open Door USA's World Watch List of 50 countries where Christians face the most persecution.