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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 03/11/2013 14:30
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
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.
CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION
Xi Jinping returns home full of deals and silence
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chinese president signed agreements worth tens of billions of Euros in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. He also stayed clear of any press conference. At the College of Europe in Bruges, he presented his dream of a new trillion-dollar Silk Road. Yet, he also made it clear that at home, the monopoly of power stays with the Party, squashing any dream for political reform in China. On the Internet, netizens disagree with him.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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