Alleged Muslim convert to appear on foreign Christian channel

Al-Haya, a Christian religious channel broadcast from the US, announced that alleged Muslim convert Kamilia Shehata and her husband, priest Tedaous Samaan, will appear on a TV show shot outside Egypt on Saturday.

The Coptic Church declined to comment on the news, saying the Church had no knowledge of the interview.

Meanwhile, Shehata's lawyer said he has lost contact with her and is disappointed at her appearance on a foreign religious channel. He said he had tried to persuade her to appear on an Egyptian channel to clarify her position, and that she took the current step without consulting him.

He added that he is considering whether to continue pleading her case, adding that she should testify before the public prosecutor.

Abdel Maseeh Baseet, priest of the Virgin Mary Church in Mostorod, said Shehata's interview is intended to prove she is still a Copt, as her appearance on a channel associated with the Church would not have the same credibility.

The priest added that Shehata and her husband had marital problems but are now reconciled and living together away from publicity. Neither Shehata, her husband nor her child will appear in the media, he added, but Shehata must testify before the public prosecutor.

Reports have been filed that claim Shehata is being detained by the Church against her will after converting to Islam. 

Shehata disappeared for five days in July in Egypt's Minya governorate. Coptic activists staged a series of protests across the country, accusing Muslims of kidnapping her and forcing her to convert.

But Shehata was found at a friend's house, and it was revealed she left home willingly after a conflict with her husband. The Church denied that Shehata had converted to Islam, but protesters continue to accuse the Church of holding her in a monastery.

One week ago, Egypt's public prosecutor asked the Church to allow Shehata to appear for testimony.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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