CAIRO: Coptic lawyer Naguib Gobrael confirmed that Kamilia Shehata, a Coptic woman who some people allege have converted to Islam, is living happily with her husband, priest Tadarous Samaan, adding that she is not going to appear on TV to prove that she is still Christian.
Gobrael confirmed in a “warning” statement issued Sunday that he is legally authorized by Shehata and her husband to keep up with the proceeding of the issue, confirming that the church is not involved in the case.
"Shehata lives happily with her husband Samaan and their son. The news circulating about her appearance in a TV channel to confirm her Christian faith are not true because this violates her personal freedom," the statement read.
The statement warned media against what it called "violating Shehata’s personal life", urging all media outlets to stop discussing her personal life which would be punishable according to the penal code.
"Shehata is not a public figure," the statement added.
Gobrael told Daily News Egypt that legal steps will be taken in the coming days to put an end to this issue.
The Prosecutor General summoned Shehata on Sunday to confirm whether or not she is Coptic, after members of an ultra-conservative Islamist Salafi group filed a lawsuit against the Orthodox Church accusing it of coercively detaining her inside the church after converting to Islam.
"I cannot disclose any information regarding her testimony in fear of endangering her safety," Gobrael added.
Meanwhile, the human rights committee of the Lawyers’ Syndicate sent a memo on Sunday to the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) urging it to move women who converted to Islam to “a safe place” away from the church’s influence, where they can freely declare their faith without pressure.
"Egypt witnessed during the era of the former regime a serious case, which is the kidnapping of women converting to Islam, staring with Wafaa Constantine and now Kamilia Shehata, threatening human rights and women’s freedoms," the memo read.
"The former state security apparatus allegedly kidnapped those women to appease some people in violation of personal rights and justice usurped by the former regime."