Woman at centre of Imbaba sectarian violence turns herself in to the army

Ahram Online, Wednesday 11 May 2011

Abeer Talaat, the convert to Islam allegedly held against her will by Coptic churches, turns herself in to Egypt’s ruling military council

Abeer Talaat
Abeer Talaat

Abeer Talaat, the woman who was allegedly held by Coptic churches in Cairo after converting to Islam and whose story enflamed sectarian violence in Imbaba Saturday, has turned herself in to the military council seeking ‎protection. ‎
    
Abeer was allegedly held captive in Mar Mina Church, Giza, where Muslims held a protest and became the site of sectarian violence that left 12 dead and 240 injured. ‎

She said in an interview over the phone with Egypt's Al Tahrir channel that she was in hiding throughout the past few days, but eventually ‎resorted to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. ‎

Nageh Ibrahim, a leader of the Egyptian Gamaa Al-Islamiya, told AlArabiya.net that  the ‎Islamic group had contacted the military to inform them of Abeer’s intention to submit herself to ‎military custody.‎

In the phone interview Abeer gave her story, stating that she had converted from ‎Christianity to Islam last September, left her village in Assiut, Upper Egypt and filed for ‎divorce from her husband before hiding in Cairo.‎
‎ ‎
Abeer said she then met Yasin Thabet, a prime suspect in last weekend’s melee in front of the Mar Mina Church, and agreed to marry him when her divorce came into effect. But weeks ago someone ‎reported her to the church and she was taken captive. ‎
‎ ‎
She claimed to have been held in different church-owned properties across Egypt before ‎ending up in Imbaba. Priests and nuns tried to convince her to re-embrace Christianity and ‎return to her husband, said Abeer, but she was not subjected to any violence.‎

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