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July 23, 2013 11:56 pm

Egypt Security Forces Ignored Slaying of Coptic Christians, Human Rights Group Says

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A Christian Coptic Orthodox Monastery in Lower Egypt. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org A report by the human rights group Amnesty International blames Egyptian security forces for standing by idly and failing to intervene during an 18-hour-long attack on Coptic Christians on July 5 that left four dead and one man hospitalized.

“It is outrageous that this attack was left to escalate unhindered in this way. Amnesty International has documented a series of cases in the past where Egypt’s security forces used unnecessary force or live fire during demonstrations, yet in this case they held back even though people’s lives were threatened,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

According to the Amnesty International report, the attack began around 3 a.m. on July 5 after a body of a Muslim man was found near Christian homes. The family of the dead Muslim man blamed local Christians for his death, and by mid-day more than 100 Christian homes had been attacked by an angry mob armed with metal bars, knives, tree branches and hammers in a small town 18 kilometers west of Luxor.

“The attack went on for 18 hours, and there was not a door on which I did not knock: police, army, local leaders, the Central Security Forces, the Governorate. Nothing was done,” said Father Barsilious, a local Egyptian priest, according to Amnesty International.

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  • There is a long and inglorious history of police inaction in the face of thuggish Islamists, which goes back long before Mubarak even.

  • Hala Abdel Hadi

    actually police do not intervene in most of the Morsi’s supporters’ attacks that threaten innocent civilians all over Egypt, reports declares massacres held for officers, civilians anti-Morsi and others pro-Morsi being tortured to death at Rabaa sit in. I think that this act was not directed to Christians but it is an attitude due to Police lack of capability or will for intervention.

    • Luke

      Hala I have to disagree with you. Copts-Phobia is alive and well and I’m sad to say that Islamic teachings that can be attributed to the Qur’an must be the source of such hate and therefore attacks. And yes the police and amn al-dawla do not seem to exist when you need them. This still does not justify the recent attacks in Luxor. The only way out for the Copts is to either immigrate or have their own country and no sane Copt would want to have anything to do with Islam