October 18 (Compass Direct News) â€“ A Muslim sheikh jailed in Egypt for 18 months has declared from his prison cell that he is under arrest for â€œinsulting Islamâ€ by becoming a Christian.Â
Egyptâ€™s secret police transferred Bahaa el-Din Ahmed Hussein el-Akkad, 57, to the Wadi el-Natroun Prison last month. He was told he would remain there indefinitely unless he agreed to work as a government informer against other converts to Christianity.
According to the prisonerâ€™s Cairo attorney, Athanasius William, his client remains incarcerated in this desert prison â€œonly because he has chosen a different belief, to be a Christian.â€
El-Akkad was imprisoned without charges for more than a year after officials of the State Security Investigation (SSI) arrested him in Cairo on April 6, 2005.
Although subjected to repeated interrogations, the former Muslim was never told the specific accusations against him. But several of his cellmates spread rumors that he was converting and baptizing people into Christianity, sparking verbal abuse and at least one severe beating from a fellow prisoner.