A 17-YEAR OLD Egyptian Christian girl has disappeared from her family for a second time, two months after she was abducted and held overnight by Muslim men while local police blocked her return to her family.
The girl vanished in early June after being first abducted in April, according to the Barnabas Fund, a charity which campaigns for the rights of persecuted Christians throughout the Islamic world.
Her family were from a district of Cairo and their local police had not only refused to protect her but are also believed to have aided her abductors.
The girl said that during her initial abduction she was sexually abused and drugged in order to manipulate her. A cross tattoo on her hand was forcibly removed.
Her abductors tried to force her to convert to Islam, and one now claims to be her husband. Egyptian law specifically forbids the marriage of a girl under 21 without her parents’ consent.
It is also illegal to convert a Christian girl under the age of 18, but the police have supported her abductors and intimidated her family, blocking efforts to get her back.
The earlier abduction took place on Tuesday April 6. The girl left her house with her savings pass book and some money. About 10pm that night her parents reported her disappearance to the police.
The family suspected a local Muslim man because their daughter had previously complained of harassment by him, and they mentioned this to the police.
When brought in for questioning the suspect admitted to having her money, saying she had given it to him.
The next day local Muslim leaders, including a Member of Parliament, were seen at the police station showing their support for keeping the girl away from her family.
The police eventually told her parents they could collect her at 5pm, with no explanation of her whereabouts. They returned but were not permitted to take their daughter home until midnight.
During the seven-hour wait they were intimidated and not allowed to see their daughter, while the Muslim leaders reportedly had access to her. The suspects were released in time to organise further abuse outside.
As the family finally drove home their car was struck apparently intentionally by another vehicle and they had to return to the police station. The police refused to document the incident, but the girl was kept in detention another night, ostensibly for her protection.
In reality it appears her captors wanted another opportunity to pressure her into refusing to rejoin her family. The police made it difficult for them to reclaim her again the following day, April 8.
The Christian girl has said how she had been influenced by the suspects for two years. They threatened that her family would come to harm if she did not leave them.
The suspects have never been charged.