The 17-year-old Coptic girl Dimiana Gabrail who disappeared from her home in the village of Ezbet Wassef in Biba, Beni Sweif, some 100km south of Cairo, on Monday 23 November is being kept in detention by the police. Gabrail’s uncle and guardian—the girl is fatherless—has also been detained. Even though the girl is underage and thus banned by law from taking life-changing decisions such as changing her religion or getting married, she has not been handed over to her family or to the Church. The law stipulates that an underage individual should be handed to his or her family; if any fears exist for the safety of such individuals on account of differences with their families, the families are made to sign a pledge they would do them no harm.
Gabrail had reported his niece’s disappearance to the police, and accused the 22-year-old Muhammad S. of abducting her and keeping her at the home of his friend Adbel-Azim E. The girl was found but detained, despite promises by the police that she would be handed to her family or, if she refused, to the Church.
Rumours are rife that the girl would convert to Islam, this being the reason the police is detaining her.
25 November 2015