Published March 13, 2013
ASSIUT, Egypt – An Egyptian Christian who died in prison in Libya after he was detained on suspicion of having proselytized there has been buried in a subdued ceremony in his hometown in southern Egypt.
Local church head Priest Baqi Sadaqa told the funeral congregation Wednesday that Ezzat Atallah's death earlier this week was a "crime against Egypt," and expressed concern about Islamists' rising clout in Egypt and Libya.
Sadaqa says Attalah was tortured. An Egyptian diplomat has said he likely died of natural causes. Attalah suffered from diabetes and heart troubles.
Scores of Egyptian Christians protested this week after reports emerged of Atallah's death and the detention of as many as 100 of others by Islamist militias on suspicion they were spreading Christianity in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.