Lawyer demands monastaries be searched for priest’s wife said to have converted to Islam

Lawyer Mamdouh Ismail has submitted a request to the attorney-general that authorities inspect all of Egypt's Coptic monasteries in search of people thought to be detained therein, particularly Kamilia Shehata, the wife of a Minya priest.

Shehata was said to have converted to Islam, with some believing she had been cloistered away by church authoritites in one of Egypt's many Coptic monasteries.

In his request, Ismail called for those responsible for hiding Shehata–which he described as “a violation of the constitution, which provides for freedom of religion”–to be brought to trial.

Meanwhile, scores of Muslims on Saturday staged a vigil before Abbasiya's Al-Nour Mosque, calling on President Hosni Mubarak and the grand sheikh of Al-Azhar to intervene and “bring Shehata back.”

According to a Coptic Church source, Coptic Pope Shenouda III has said he would "not bow to pressure" to turn the woman over.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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