Michael Gamal, an Egyptian Christian aged 22, has allegedly shot himself, just a few months before his service in the army was due to finish. The shock to his family has been massive, especially as they believe he didn’t commit suicide, and that there are suspicious circumstances around his death.
His brother Osama says that as he was just “support personnel” and that he wasn’t issued any firearms: “He couldn’t have had access to a weapon to allegedly shoot himself with.”
Osama spoke to his brother on 15th February: “Michael was in good spirits. He was jesting and joking. He had a couple of months to go before his service was over. When I called the next day, Michael, unusually, didn’t respond.”
The family later received a call saying that Michael had been seriously injured. They made their way to the base where Michael was posted and were told by military police that their son ‘had committed suicide’.
At the hospital, an initial coroner report stated the cause of death as a ‘gunshot to the upper chest from close range’. The body bore trauma marks to the forehead and right temple, they said.
Later the military police spoke with the family, suggesting that family members had argued with Michael on the phone and that’s why he shot himself. The family 100% deny this.
Strangely a lieutenant said he’d fly Michael’s body on a military chopper and speed up all the necessary paper work. There has been no investigation yet, and before the body had left the hospital the military authorities had already written report stating Michael ‘had shot himself dead’.
Although this reads like the plot for the latest military thriller, the reality is that Michael’s family are devastated, struggling to find the truth of what happened to him. Please pray for them and for what happened to be fully revealed.
This isn’t the first case of a Christian in military or police service in Egypt dying suspiciously. Since July 2015 four people have died, with seven known cases over the last decade. The cases were predominantly attributed to suicide.
For comfort for Michael’s family
For protection for Christians who are conscripted into the Egyptian army and police
That justice would be done, and that if the suspicions surrounding these ‘suicides’ are correct, that the truth would come out and justice would be done.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.