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    » 12/11/2010, 00.00

    EGYPT

    Protests over block on church of the Pyramids. "The government discriminates against Christians"



    168 Copts are still in jail (including 20 children) arrested during the demonstration on November 24 against the block on construction of the church opposed by radical Muslims. Appeal to Mubarak to punish those who authorized the use of weapons.

    blocked construction of the church near the Pyramids. During the demonstration on November 24 security forces opened fire on the unarmed crowd that surrounded the headquarters of the governor of Giza, killing three people. A child of four was killed, suffocated by tear gas. Several dozen people were injured as a result of the brutality of police repression, among them 38 children.

    Security forces arrested 168 Copts, who are still detained, among them there are 20 minors under 18 years of age who are confined in juvenile detention center in Al Marg. A request for their release has also come from International Christian Concern (ICC), an organization based in the United States that monitors the situation of Christians in the world. On 4 December, the Egyptian head of the Union for Human Rights, Naguib Ghobrial, organized a demonstration outside the High Court of Egypt which was attended by both Christians and Muslims to demand the release of prisoners, particularly minors, and that charges be brought against the governor of Giza and the Head of Security who authorized the use of live bullets against the demonstrators on November 24. Aidan Clay, direttore regionale per il Medio Oriente per Icc, ha detto: “Mentre la maggior parte degli attacchi contro i copti sono commessi da gruppi di musulmani, l’attacco sui manifestanti disarmati è stato il primo, a memoria recente, autorizzato da una branca del governo e compiuto da forze di sicurezza egiziane. La persecuzione anti-cristiana in Egitto sta raggiungendo un nuovo livello, dal momento che i copti non sono solo discriminati, ma sono presi a bersaglio e uccisi dal governo. Chiediamo al presidente Mubarak di agire immediatamente per perseguire chi ha autorizzato l’attacco e liberare i manifestanti detenuti, in particolare i ragazzi. Se non fa così, sarà chiaro che il regime di Mubarak e i tribunali egiziani autorizzano e incoraggiano la violenza contro i cristiani”.

    Aidan Clay, regional director for the Middle East for ICC, said: "While most attacks against Egypt’s Coptic Christians are committed by Muslim mob violence, the Talbiya attack on unarmed protestors was the first incident in recent memory authorized by branches of the Egyptian government and carried out by Egyptian security forces. Anti-Christian persecution in Egypt is reaching a new level, as Copts are no longer merely discriminated against, but are in fact being targeted and murdered by the government. We urge President Hosni Mubarak to take immediate action by bringing those who authorized this attack to justice and by releasing those who have been arrested unjustly, especially the children. If action is not taken, it will be clear to all that Mubarak’s regime and Egyptian courts condone, and even support, government induced violence upon Christians".

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    See also

    25/11/2010 EGYPT
    Two Copts killed in the battle for the "church of the Pyramids"
    Thousands of Christian protesters surrounded the governorate in Giza to protest against the blockade of the construction of the only church in the area. Strong reaction of the security forces. Fundamentalist Muslims are opposed to the churches’ completion and put pressure on local authorities.

    07/12/2010 EGYPT
    Copts protest in Cairo demanding justice for the killed and freedom for the arrested
    A demonstration is underway after clashes left four unarmed protesters dead during a demonstration over a denied building permit for a church near the pyramids. Copts call for the resignation and prosecution of Giza’s governor and the security chief.

    22/10/2005 EGYPT
    Two killed and dozens wounded in anti-Christian demonstration in Egypt

    Muslims are up in arms against Copts for a play dubbed as "offensive to Islam". Christian leaders: "The work is against extremism, not Muslims". This could well be a strategy of the Internal Affairs Ministry to create tension before the election.



    05/01/2005 EGYPT - ISLAM
    Christians jailed since December set free
    Coptic Patriarch Shenouda III was in self-imposed exile in a monastery to free them.

    18/03/2010 EGYPT
    Egyptian police arrest 13 Copts, victims of attack by Islamic extremists
    Four minors between 13 and 17, also stopped but later released. A detention order of 15 days issued for Christians and Muslims. Charged with damaging public property, arson and assault. Association for Human Rights promotes an international conference.



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