22 May 2017
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  • » 02/06/2013, 00.00

    EGYPT

    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.

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    See also

    28/04/2012 EGYPT
    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".

    10/10/2012 EGYPT
    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.

    20/01/2014 EGYPT
    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.

    11/04/2013 EGYPT
    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.

    13/07/2011 EGYPT
    The military and the economy, the Egyptian spring’s enemies
    People are unhappy with the military. So far, no official involved in the death of 900 people killed in Tahrir Square has been tried. Young people continue to protest in favour of a new Egypt; they are the only hope for the country’s future at a time of economic crisis.



    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan



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    VATICAN-CHINA
    May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium

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    The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.


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