Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rights groups take Egypt to task for restrictions on religious minorities

Rights groups have criticized Egypt for forcing converts from Islam and religious minorities to lie about their beliefs in official papers, BBC News reported Monday.

As the article notes: “Egyptians over 16 must carry ID cards showing religious affiliation. Muslim, Christian and Jew are the only choices.

Human Rights Watch reports that the requirement particularly hits members of the Baha’i community, and Coptic Christians who became Muslims but want to go back.

According to the article: “The BBC’s Heba Saleh in Cairo says that without the all-important IDs, members of minorities face enormous problems in education and employment.”

The report is jointly issued by HRW and the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.

“Ministry of interior officials apparently believe that they don’t have the right to choose someone’s religion when they don’t happen to like the religion that person, him or herself, has chosen, “said Human Rights Watch’s Joe Stork. “So we are asking the government today to end this arbitrary refusal to recognize someone’s actual religious beliefs.”

For the full article, click here.


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