» 01/20/2012, 00.00
Death penalty always unjust, even for Mubarak, Catholic Church says
Fr Rafik Greiche speaks about the death penalty request for Mubarak. According to the prosecution, he is responsible for the death of 850 people, gunned down during protests in January 2011. For days, hundreds of people have been demonstrating in Cairo, calling for the former strongman to be hanged.
Cairo (AsiaNews) – “The Egyptian Catholic Church, together with all other Christian denominations, is against the death penalty for any individual,” said Fr Rafik Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church. He spoke to AsiaNews about the death penalty requested for former President Hosni Mubarak whose trial resumed last Monday after a two-week break.
“No one has the right to take the life of another man even if he is guilty of terrible crimes. Only God can do that,” Fr Greiche said. “Sadly, the death penalty is a normal thing for the Muslim mindset. Egyptian law calls for hanging in the most serious crimes.”
Still, there is no conviction yet for Egypt’s former strongman and it is too early to judge the situation.
For days, hundreds of people have been demonstrating in front of the Cairo courthouse where Mubarak is on trial, holding nooses and handcuffs, shouting slogans in favour of the death penalty for the former president who is charged with ordering a crackdown on protests in January 2011.
The crowd’s anger was further stoked when Farid al-Deeb, Mubarak’s defence lawyer, said in court that there is no evidence to show that he ordered security forces to open fire on protesters. According to al-Deeb, Mubarak had already handed over power to the military before the 28 January massacre in accordance with Law 183 of 1952. Only military leaders could give the order to fire, not the president.
For victims’ families, statements like this chip away at their hope for justice.
Yesterday, members of the Nour (Salafist) party urged relatives of the 850 people who died in the protest violence to demand the application of Sharia, which in this case calls for a “blood price” to be paid by the guilty party’s family.
Today, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged Egyptian judges not to impose the death penalty. Interviewed by a British newspaper, he said that the United Nations voted in favour of resolution calling on member states to stop executions and new death penalty sentences. (S.C.)
Anti-Copt violence, consequence of 30 years of bad policies, said Catholic priest
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President Hosni Mubarak resigns
Power is handed over to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Crowds celebrate in Cairo and throughout Egypt. Demands that he not be allowed flee abroad, but held to count for his crimes. A “peoples revolution”, not “Islamic”.
Life imprisonment for former Egyptian President Mubarak, sons Gamal and Ala acquitted
The court also sentenced interior minister, Habib al-Adly, to life imprisonment. The Court held that they are responsible for the deaths of 850 people killed by police during the protests in Tahrir Square in 2011. Brawl breaks out in court-room bunker after allegations of bribery for Mubarak sons is quashed.
“Give us back our church,” Copts and Muslims tell Egyptian government
Some 8,000 people demonstrate in front of Egyptian TV, demanding the rebuilding of the Coptic Church of Saints Minas and George, destroyed by extremists last Saturday. It is the first protest of its kind by Copts other than at their cathedral. For Fr Rafik Greiche, head of the press office of the Catholic Church of Egypt, this demonstration is a sign that Christians dare take to the streets. However, fundamentalists are still trying to take advantage of the situation of chaos to impose on Egypt Sharia and a radical version of Islam. “Western government can put pressure on our government to recognise the value of this equality on society,” the clergyman said.
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Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
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