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.