FOR the past two years, ''Mina'' has regularly phoned his mother in Egypt. But the 36-year-old is so scared for the safety of his family here and in Egypt that he has not told her he lives in Australia, instead letting her believe he is in the United States.
It is a fiction devised out of fear that Egypt's security police will track him down or persecute his family in Egypt in retaliation for defying them and fleeing the country.
What brought Mina to their attention was his conversion at age 21 to the Coptic Orthodox Christian faith, which meant turning his back on Islam, the dominant, state-sanctioned religion.
He was arrested and beaten numerous times, then thrown in a room with Islamic radical prisoners who were encouraged to beat him, his Melbourne lawyer, Jimmy Morcos, said.
Mina is one of 70,000 Coptic Orthodox Christians who have fled persecution in Egypt and resettled
|Liveleak on Facebook|