» 02/06/2013, 00.00
Maspero massacre: military court sentences two Christians to three years in jail
Michael Farag and Michael Shaker were accused of stealing a machine gun. They were among the 30 Christians arrested on 9 October 2011 for inciting violence and destroying military vehicles. For the families of the 28 Christians killed in the incident, the verdict is an insult. So far, no military officer has been tried or convicted for the massacre.
Cairo (AsiaNews) - Sixteen
months after the Maspero building massacre that left 28 people dead, a court in
Cairo sentenced two Christian Copts to three years in jail for stealing a
machine gun from a soldier during the incident. Michael Farag and Michael
Shaker were among the 30 civilians arrested on 9 October 2011 on charges of
inciting violence, destroying military vehicles and deliberately attacking
soldiers. For the Coptic community, the conviction is an insult to the victims.
This Friday, the Maspero
Youth Organisation, which represents victims' families, as well as
pro-democracy political movements and other victims of associations plan to
march from Cairo's Dawaran Shubra neighbourhood to Talaat Harb, where the
Egyptian Supreme Court is located, to demand the conviction of armed forces
leaders, deemed the real culprits in the massacre.
Military police chief
General Hamdi Badeen and his deputy General Ibrahim Damati as well as other
officers are on trial for their role in the crackdown. A number of accusations
have been filed in the past few months against members of the Supreme Council
of the Armed Forces for issuing the order to fire on the crowd.
So far, the military
court has tried and convicted only three soldiers, sentencing them to three
years in prison. Court papers make no mention of the attempted massacre against
Copts. They also do not contain the autopsy reports showing that 12 of the victims
were crushed by armed vehicles and 16 died from gunshot wounds.
The paradox is that Egyptian
prosecutors claim that Christians shot at their own co-religionists even though
video footage shows soldiers
opening fire on peaceful demonstrators and attacking people in the square.
Egyptian court shelves trial against 'unknown' for Maspero massacre of Copts
Judges claim "lack of identification of the culprits." In the October 9, 2011 massacre of peaceful demonstrators 27 Christians were killed and over 300 were injured. 28Copts arrested in the aftermath of the massacre and accused of involvement also acquitted. Victims’ relatives cry "farce".
Tens of thousands of Egyptians take to the streets a year after the massacre of Copts at Maspero
Muslims and people from the Islamic university of al-Azhar take part in the rally. Slogans are shouted against President Morsi and the military, accused of doing nothing to bring to justice those responsible for the bloodbath.
Egyptians approve constitution, but al-Sisi loses youth support
For Mina Thabet, a leader with the Christian-based Maspero Youth Union, many young people boycotted the referendum because it enshrines the hegemony of the military and the anti-protest law that allowed the imprisonment of dozens of pro-democracy activists. The young people who started the Arab Spring have been once again elbowed out.
Christians and Muslims march together against Islamist hegemony
Mina Magdi, an activist of the Maspero Youth Union, denounces attempts by extremists to divide Christians and Muslims. The sectarian clashes that took place on April 7 in front of the Coptic Orthodox cathedral were manipulated. With false news reports by media linked to the Muslim Brotherhood accusing the Copts of attacking first.
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.
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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