In News & Reports

By Watani –

The 61-year-old Coptic man Nabil Habashy Salem was kidnapped last Monday near his home in Bir al-Abd, South Sinai. According to his son, Peter, Salem has been a trader in Bir al-Abd for many years, trading in commodities that range from gold to mobile phones. The younger Salem, who works with his father, said it was his father who built the only church in Bir al-Abd, consecrated to the Holy Virgin, Anba Karas and St Abanoub. “He enjoys good relations with everyone around,” the son said.

He reported that after his father had come home from work on 8 November, he went out at 8pm to buy something from a nearby store, when three armed unmasked men stopped him by force in the middle of the busy street. They forced a passing pickup truck to stop, threatened its driver and forced him out at gunpoint. They shoved the senior Salem into the truck and quickly drove away while firing bullets in the air. Those on the street were terrified, the younger Salem said; nobody could do a thing. 

Peter Salem directly notified the police and filed a report. He sent an urgent plea to President Sisi to interfere in order to find his father, lest he meets the same fate of Bekhit Aziz Lamei who was kidnapped last August from al-Abtal village in South Sinai, and to date has not been found.
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  • Saba E. Demian, M.D.

    The continuous violation of human rights in Egypt is ugly and counterproductive. Mostly, the victims are Coptic Christians. However, others, who oppose the autocratic reign of Al-Sisi, regardless of religion, are also incarcerated or wasted. Similar to Nabil Habashy Salem, other Copts have no powerful advocate to demand and ensure the human rights for all. The Egyptian Security system, Secret Service and spy network are very powerful. How they behave is a direct reflection of the ruler’s wishes. President Al-Sisi should know that these atrocious actions, kidnapping, forced conversion to Islam, rank discrimination and murderous actions does not bode well for the nation. Fighting the enemy within like the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafies is as important as the fight on several foreign fronts. There is an enormous amount of capability, know-how and goodwill in the Copts of Egypt, mostly untapped to the detriment of the whole. Saba E. Demian, M.D.

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