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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 03/11/2013
LIBYA - EGYPT
Egyptian Christian dies in Benghazi whilst in custody of Muslim extremists
The cause of death of Evangelical Christian Ezzat Hakim Attalah remains unclear. The 45-year-old man was arrested on 28 February along with five other Egyptians on charges of distributing religious material. More than 50 Egyptian Copts arrive home after weeks in Salafist hands. They complain about harassment and torture.

Benghazi (AsiaNews) - An Egyptian Evangelical Christian died after spending ten days in a Benghazi jail. Ezzat Hakim Attalah (pictured), a 45-year-old father of two, was arrested on 28 February along with five fellow Evangelicals on charges of proselytising, Middle East Christian News Agency (MCN-Direct) reported.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry sources said that Attalah, who suffered from diabetes and heart ailments, died of natural causes. Speaking to MCN-Direct, Attalah's wife Ragaa Abdullah Guirguis said that he died because of the pressures and torture by Libyan prison guards. She said that she would seek the help of international lawyers to establish the real cause of his death.

The case of the Egyptian Evangelical Christian in Libya is symptomatic of the tragic fate of Christians in Libya, victims of Salafist groups that control the country's Cyrenaica region.

Last week, extremists imprisoned more than 50 Coptic pedlars for allegedly showing icons and other religious material on their stalls.

Reports about the event went viral worldwide when Libyan activists posted a video about the incident, which Libyan police eventually seized.

Once they arrived home, the Coptic pedlars complained of beatings and torture at the hands of Muslim extremists who used acid to remove traditional Coptic tattoos representing crosses and other Christian symbols from their hands, chest and forehead.

Since Gaddafi's fall, the number of attacks against foreign residents has increased, mostly against Egyptians, especially Catholic and Orthodox Copts.

Last month, four foreigners from Egypt, South Africa, South Korea and a Swede with a US passport were arrested for allegedly circulating Bibles and other religious material. They are currently in a Tripoli jail waiting for trial.

Catholic religious orders have also been targeted by Muslim groups despite operating in the country for decades in hospitals and nursing homes.

In January, Islamists forced the Franciscan Sisters of the Infant Jesus to leave the city of Barca. The same thing happened to the Ursuline Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the city of Bayda.

In October, the Sisters of the Convent of the Sacred Family of Spoleto were forced out of Derna even though local residents wanted them to stay. (S.C.)


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See also
03/06/2013 LIBYA
For Tripoli Catholics, anti-Christian attacks due to climate of impunity and violence
05/06/2011 LIBYA - VATICAN
War against Libya a reckless outrage
by Piero Gheddo
01/26/2012 LIBYA
Libyan militias involved in bloody clashes as 8,500 remain in ‘secret’ prisons
06/01/2011 LIBYA
Bishop of Tripoli: NATO bombs a Coptic church. Civilian Casualties.
12/23/2011 LIBYA
Msgr Martinelli: Christmas, a sign of peace in a Libya still at war

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”
ASIA
Easter: The silence of the innocent and the gag
by Bernardo CervelleraViolations of religious freedom and the West's hypocricy surrounding this issue are likely to drag the world into an unprecedented chaos. But even in silence - of death accepted for love or death inflicted by power - God is at work. An indestructible hope rises on Easter morning and a small opening of the heart is just enough for it to invade a lifetime. Happy Easter.
IRAN
Time for a deal with Tehran, a reliable partner against the Islamic State group
by Bernardo Cervellera A framework agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue has to be inked by 31 March. US Republicans, Israel and Saudi Arabia are fiercely opposed to it for ulterior motives. Hassan Rouhani wants Iran to come back into the international fold. Tehran is playing a mediating role in the Middle East. For Vatican nuncio, “there is no evidence that Iran is preparing a nuclear bomb.”

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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