The family of the young Coptic man, Abra’am Zaky, who is in hiding and who is alleged to have helped the Muslim young woman Rana Hatem al-Shazli who has come to be known as the Wasta girl to convert to Christianity, is being further detained for another 15 more days pending investigations
The family of the young Coptic man, Abra’am Zaky, who is in hiding and who is alleged to have helped the Muslim young woman Rana Hatem al-Shazli who has come to be known as the Wasta girl to convert to Christianity, is being further detained for another 15 more days pending investigations. The order was yesterday issued by Beba Court in Beni Sweif, 100km south of Cairo.
Shazli’s disappearance last March was cause for sectarian violence against the town Copts, in collective punishment for allegedly helping her convert to Christianity and flee Egypt. The 21-year-old university student is now in Turkey but is in contact with her family and says she has not converted. Her Islamist father and uncle, however, insist she has been ‘tricked’ by black magic into converting to Christianity and that the Church should return her to her family. The Church, for its part, says it has nothing to do with Shazli’s disappearance.
Since her disappearance, the young woman has sent her parents several letters, which she also posted online, saying she had left home to flee sexual abuse by her uncle, followed by attempts by her father to marry her off to a man she did not want. She wrote that she had married a Muslim and was expecting a baby, and that they left the country. But Hatem al-Shazli has accused Zaky of being the key person in his daughter’s conversion.
The entire Zaky family were caught by the police and charged with being accomplices to Abra’am Zaky. The father, Zaky Andrawus, the mother Suad Akhnoun, and a cousin, Peter Bahig are all charged with collaborating with Abra’am in hiding Shazli, seizing her money, forcing her to convert to Christianity and facilitating the procedures of her travelling to Turkey. Abra’am’s name has been placed on the travel ban lists.
21 May 2013