Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-01-15 07:30:55
Ahmed Harqan, an Egyptian atheist who expressed his views on television, went to a police station in Alexandria to report that he and his wife were attacked on the street for his beliefs.
Instead of being seen as victims, Harqan and his wife found themselves handcuffed and physically and verbally assaulted by police personnel.
“They switched on the Quran and raised the volume, as if by doing so they were torturing us. They called us names and kept slapping us,” he told Ahram Online.
They were then moved to another police station where a prosecutor asked Harqan: “Are you a believer in God?”
“I’m here to complain and not for you to inspect my beliefs. I will not speak about [religion],” Harqan responded.
“You have to speak about [religion], even if it’s by force,” the prosecutor told him and refused to discuss the attacks on Harqan by strangers on the street and by the police.
Harqan and his wife were eventually allowed to file a police report against those who beat them on the street, but were unable to file a report against police personnel.
“We didn’t know any of their names, and their police colleagues refused to tell us their names,” he said.
Not all atheists are as lucky as Harqan in avoiding being charged with blasphemy. On Sunday, 11 January, 21-one-year-old student Karim El-Banna was given three years in prison for announcing his atheism via his Facebook account and for insulting Islam. More»