Published On: Wed, Jun 25th, 2014

Egypt: Bishoy Armia Boulous, aka Mohammed Hegazy, gets five years in prison for reporting persecution

Photo/Vectorportal via wikimedia commons

Photo/Vectorportal via wikimedia commons

A Christian leader in Egypt has now become the figure associated with the hypocritical Egyptian government attempting to project an image of tolerance towards non-Muslims. The man has been sentenced to five years in jail and fined for ‘disturbing the peace’ which is Egyptian for documenting and religious persecution against the church.

Bishoy Armia Boulous, formerly known as Mohammed Hegazy after a successful name change. was sentenced “disturbing the peace by broadcasting false information on The Way TV, an evangelism channel, that disturbed the peace and public security,” according to a new report from the Morning Star News.
Wagdy Halfa, Boulos’ attorney, maintains the judge did not cite the specific section of the nation’s criminal code that his client allegedly violated.
In a statement Joseph Nasrallah, president of The Way TV, said, “The Tarik [Way] Channel had nothing to do with Mohammed Hegazy, who is known as Bishoy Armia Boulous, in any way.”
“He did not commit a crime,” Halfa said. “Even if he did take some photos or videos of a protest, that is legal. Even if he was doing it for a newspaper, that is legal.”

Halfa added that the real reason Boulous was charged and sentenced was because he abandoned Islam and became a Christian.

“The officer who arrested him, when he found that he hadn’t committed a crime, made up things to keep him in prison so he could be sentenced,” he said.

Boulous was also fined 500 Egyptian pounds (US $70).
The man was arrested in December with a camera and four flash drives of data. Authorities claim he works for The Way TV, a Coptic Christian-owned, U.S.-based religious television channel that broadcasts into Egypt via satellite.

When he was arrested last year, human rights activists said they feared for his safety. Halfa confirmed that Boulous has been tortured and attacked in prison, but declined to give any details about his mistreatment or injuries.

“He told me he has been treated in an inhumane way in prison,” Halfa said.

Boulos rose to international prominence in 2007 when he became the first Egyptian to try to change his religious identity on his ID card after converting to Christianity. His legal fight was postponed indefinitely during the “Arab Spring.”
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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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