Saudis Refuse To Grant Exit Visa After Discovering Heâ€™s Christian
Washington D.C. (ICC) --The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) www.persecution.org has learned that an Egyptian Christian working in Saudi Arabia as a surgeon has been repeatedly blocked from going home for over two years. The Saudi government has intentionally run him in circles, promising he can leave, then refusing to let him go.
Dr. Mamdooh Fahmy, a surgeon at Albyaan Menfhoh Medical Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was removed from his position at the center six months ago, and has not been allowed to obtain another work permit because of his faith. A group of his Muslim colleagues targeted him as soon as he began his work at the medical center in 2004, repeatedly harassing him to become a Muslim also. He became tired of avoiding the conversation, and eventually told them that he was a Christian and would not change his religion. At this, they accused him of being a missionary.
In a letter to ICC, Dr. Fahmy told us what happens in Saudi Arabia when you publicly acknowledge the Christian faith, â€œOn April 12, 2005, I had a surprise visit from three Saudi officials at work. Two were in civilian attire and one was a police officer. They informed me that they were from the morals policing organization [Muttawa]. They proceeded to insult me publicly before the staff and patients of the medical center. They confiscated my wallet, cell phone and keys. They handcuffed me, shacked [sic] my legs and dragged me to a waiting car, then proceeded to my residence.
â€œWhile the police officer and I remained in the vehicle, the two civilians raided my house, confiscating all written and published materials (books, notes, etc). I was then taken to the police station on where I was formally accused of being a Christian missionary and of consuming alcoholic beverages at work. I was placed in solitary confinement for five days. After my confinement they began the interrogation process. Each time I was questioned, I was cursed and insulted. The interrogator referred to me as â€˜Infidel.â€™â€
Immediately after his release from interrogation, Dr. Fahmy attempted to obtain his passport back from his employment sponsor. The sponsor told him that he no longer had his passport, and it was now in police custody.
This was only the start of a long exercise in futility in Dr. Fahmyâ€™s attempts to return to Egypt. In the latest episode, one very telling of Saudi intransigence, Dr. Fahmy was told that all he needed to do to leave the country was to file certain departure applications after Egyptian officials raised his situation with the Saudi government. Dr. Fahmy filed as advised, but not only was the application rejected, but Saudi officials laughed in his face for attempting to leave.
Please contact the Saudi embassy in your country and let them know that you have heard of Dr. Fahmyâ€™s case and that it is shameful for the Saudis to be treating him in this way. Let them know they ought to allow him to return to Egypt.
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, US
601 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: (202) 342-3800
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Canada
99 Bank Street Suite 901,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1P 6B9
Telephone: (613) 237-4100
Fax: (613) 237-0567
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, UK
30 Charles Street, W1J 5DZ
Tel: +44 (0)20 7917 3000
ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC delivers humanitarian aid, trains and supports persecuted pastors, raises awareness in the US regarding the problem of persecution, and is an advocate for the persecuted on Capitol Hill and the State Department. For additional information or for an interview, contact ICC at 800-422-5441.