Libya Imprisons American for Allegedly Proselytizing Christianity in Benghazi

Egyptians protest the death of Ezzat Atallah, who died in a Libyan prison, in front of the Libyan embassy in Cairo. (AP Photo)

Egyptians protest the death of Ezzat Atallah, who died in a Libyan prison, in front of the Libyan embassy in Cairo. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – On Feb. 12, about two years after the U.S. government first militarily intervened in Libya to advance the cause of Libyan revolutionaries and five months after Libyan terrorists murdered Amb. Chris Stevens and three other Americans in that country, the post-revolutionary Libyan government arrested a U.S. citizen for allegedly “proselytizing” Christianity in Benghazi.

As of today, according to both a senior administration official and a State Department spokesperson, this U.S. citizen remains imprisoned in post-Qaddafi Libya.

The Libyan government also arrested seven other Christians in Benghazi in connection with the same alleged case of Christian proselytizing. These include a South African woman, a South Korean man and five Egyptian men.

One of the Egyptians, Ezzat Atallah, was tortured by the Libyans while in detention, according to an Egyptian human rights lawyer. Atallah later died in Libyan custody—from what an Egyptian official characterized as natural causes.

Atallah’s death and Libya’s detention of other Christian Egyptians sparked outrage in Egypt’s Christian community and a demonstration at the Libyan embassy in Cairo.

However, Libya’s arrest and detention of an American Christian has thus far gone largely unnoted in the United States.

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