EGYPT: IN HIDING, CONVERT CONTINUES FIGHT FOR RIGHTS
Mohammed Hegazy battles for religious freedom as HRW report slams country’s abuses. [Excerpts]
CAIRO, November 15 – Sick of hiding in a secret apartment in Cairo, Mohammed Ahmed Hegazy risked his life to shop for groceries late one night last week, a cap pulled low over his face. The Egyptian convert from Islam to Christianity does not normally chance being recognized in public by running errands for himself. Death threats forced Hegazy into hiding in August after he made an unprecedented legal bid to have his national ID card changed to note his conversion. The Christian acknowledged that he was finding his life in hiding extremely difficult. He said it was impossible to hold a job because he couldn’t leave his apartment regularly for fear of being attacked by Islamists or state security police. On a rare occasion that Hegazy took the chance of shopping in public, he said, a Christian recognized his face from a newspaper photograph. “If you are who I think you are, then God help you,” the Christian told Hegazy.