The brother of 18-year-old Hanan Girgis, an Egyptian Christian woman missing since 26 January, says he has been told she has a new Muslim identity and is being held by the security services.
Rezeiky Girgis heard from the Civil Status Authority at Esna Police Station that Hanan 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.
Mr. Girgis said they “insulted” him when he made inquiries.
Family and friends then protested outside the security office, demanding the return of Hanan and singing Christian worship songs.
Mr. Girgis told World Watch Monitor that officers then came out and attacked the protestors.
“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”.
Two other relatives, Shahin and Ayman, were also hurt, he said.
Security forces used a fire-station car to disperse the crowd. Twenty people were arrested; five were released later the same day, the rest the next day after the intervention of church leaders.
Shortly after Hanan’s disappearance, the Girgis family accused a Muslim neighbour, Mohamed Ahmed Nubi Soliman, 27, of kidnapping her. Soliman admitted a connection with the incident but local police took no further action and he was set free.
The family’s lawyer accused the police of “complicity and apathy” in the case, adding that “because the victim is a Christian girl, we see inaction”.
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SOURCE: World Watch Monitor