The human rights group Amnesty International said Thursday that Egyptian officials allegedly tortured a 22-year-old Muslim man who had converted to Christianity.
The organization said in a statement that state security officers arrested college student Mohamed Wagdi Mohamed Durra in October in the Nile Delta town of Tanta and confiscated religious books.Durra allegedly was tortured and then charged by the state security prosecutor in Cairo with "propagating ideas" and "belittling religion," the group added. He is currently being held in Tanta prison.
Amnesty said it was told Durra was taken in and tortured on two other occasions.
"On April 13, 1996 Durra was summoned to the state security building and held there for approximately one week, allegedly in an attempt to force him to inform on the activities of other individuals who had converted from Islam to Christianity," the statement added.
"He was allegedly tortured during each period of detention by electric shocks, beatings, suspension by his wrists and being left for long periods of time clothed only in his under clothes," it said.
Amnesty said it knew of several cases where Muslims who converted had been detained. It called for Durra's immediate release if he was being held for his "conscientiously held religious beliefs."