FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C. - January 13, 2022
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Celebrates the Release of Coptic Christian Egyptian Activist Ramy Kamel
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) celebrates the January 8, 2022 release of Coptic Christian activist Ramy Kamel after he spent two years being held in pre-trial detention in Egypt. Kamel was arrested on November 23, 2019, and charged with spreading false information and involvement in advocating for minority rights as a part of his leadership with the Maspero Youth Union. Prior to his arrest, Kamel was intending to raise concerns about Egypt’s human rights record and treatment of minority communities at the United Nations Forum on Minority Issues. Human Rights groups and religious freedom advocates such as The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), Amnesty International, and In Defense of Christians (IDC) actively sought Ramy Kamel’s release.
CMEP’s executive director, Reverend Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, traveled to Egypt in early January 2022 and met with members of the Egyptian foreign ministry calling for transparency regarding the imprisonment of human rights defenders and calling on the government to respect individual civil and human rights. She explicitly asked for an end to the imprisonment of Ramy Kamel. Upon hearing of his release, she said, “I was grateful and deeply moved to return home from Egypt and to hear this wonderful news. I thank the Egyptian government for the release of Ramy Kamel. Nonetheless, CMEP continues to call on Egypt to protect the individual rights of activists and others who raise awareness about concerns within their society. We look forward to the day when everyone in Egypt and around the world will have their fundamental human rights protected.”
CMEP affirms the Universal Declaration of Human Rights including Article 19 that states:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
Formed in 1984, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is a coalition of 30 national church communions and organizations, including Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Evangelical traditions that works to encourage US policies that actively promote a comprehensive resolution to conflicts in the Middle East with a focus on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. CMEP works to mobilize US Christians to embrace a holistic perspective and to be advocates of equality, human rights, security, and justice for Israelis, Palestinians, and all people of the Middle East.