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Copts accused of proselytising in Libya to return to Cairo: MENA

Three Egyptian Coptic Christians arrested in Libya in February for alleged proselytising are set to return to Egypt after being acquitted of charges, state news agency MENA reports

MENA, Ahram Online, Tuesday 16 Apr 2013
Attack on a Coptic church near the city of Misrata in 31th of December, 2012, left two Egyptians killed and two injured (Photo: Reuters)

Three out of four Egyptian Coptic Christians recently accused of proselytizing in Libya will return home on Tuesday night, Egyptian state news agency MENA reported.

The fourth Copt arrived in Cairo on Monday.

The Copts had faced proselytizing charges in Libya, leading to their temporary arrest by Libyan authorities last February.

Ezzat Hakim, an Egyptian Copt, was one of those initially detained. He was declared dead after allegedly being tortured in a Benghazi prison.

On 11 April, the Copts were released after being acquitted of the charges.

On Tuesday night, Egyptian Ambassador to Libya Hisham Abdel-Wahab attributed the Copts' release to "the embassy's efforts," which, he said, had "prompted Libyan authorities to release them."

Abdel-Wahab went on to confirm that the three remaining Copts were expected to arrive in Cairo "tonight."

The recent arrest of Egyptian Copts by Libyan authorities was the latest in a series of incidents targeting Christians in the North African nation.

In December, two Egyptian Christians were killed and two others injured when unidentified attackers threw a homemade bomb at a Coptic Orthodox church in western Libya.

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