Washington, DC – In Defense of Christians (IDC), the nation’s leading advocacy organization for Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East and Africa, applauds the release of Coptic rights and religious freedom activist Ramy Kamel from Egyptian prison.
Mr. Kamel was taken into custody in November 2019 by Egyptian authorities, just one day prior to traveling to Geneva to speak before the UN Human Rights Council about abuses endured by Egypt’s Coptic Christian community. For over two years, Mr. Kamel was held in Egyptian prison, without trial. Sources close to Mr. Kamel have reported that he has been subjected to torture and has faced serious health concerns.
IDC has advocated in the U.S. Congress and U.S. State Department for the application of pressure on the Egyptian government for Mr. Kamel’s release. IDC has worked closely with Senate Human Rights Caucus co-chairs Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), who sent a letter to the Egyptian government in October 2020 urging for Ramy Kamel’s release.
The Senators urged the Egyptian government to “honor Mr. Kamel’s right to a fair trial or to release him entirely of the charges held against him.” The Senators further expressed their “fear [that] his detention is a result of [his] activism.”
“We applaud the Egyptian government for the release for Ramy Kamel,” said IDC Executive Director Richard Ghazal. “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,” Ghazal continued.