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Prosecution renews detention of Ibrahim Khalil for 15 days on charges of atheism

The prosecution renewed the detention of Ibrahim Khalil for 15 days on Monday, pending further investigation into charges of atheism and contempt of religion, Khalil’s cousin Botros Makkar reported.

Security forces arrested 29-year-old Ibrahim last Thursday from a cafe in Dokki. He had told friends that he was going to meet with some television producers who wanted to interview him, according to Makkar, who lives with Khalil in Zeitoun.

When Ibrahim did not return home on Thursday, Makkar and some of Khalil’s friends inquired after him at police stations in Zeitoun, Matareya and Ain Shams, to no avail. They later found him at Dokki Police Station.

Khalil was taken to the prosecution later on Thursday, where an order was given for his detention for four days, pending investigations. He was questioned for a second time on Monday without a lawyer, after which the prosecution renewed his detention for a further 15 days.

According to a number of local newspapers, the prosecution accused Ibrahim of administering a Facebook page titled “Atheists,” on which they asserted that he published “distortions of the Quran and other posts indicating the absence of God” from a cafe in Dokki. According to Makkar, however, Khalil only went to the Dokki cafe to meet the TV producers, and he usually sits in a cafe in Zeitoun close to his home.

Police investigations reportedly added that Khalil was advocating homosexuality, and that he came to Cairo from Minya to promote atheism.

Makkar asserted that the charges have been trumped up against Khalil in order to mistreat him. His family traveled from Minya to Cairo after his arrest to follow the case as it develops.

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