An Alexandria military court yesterday, Thursday 11 October, handed sentences to 48 men who were convicted of targeting al-Boutrossiya Church in Cairo on 11 December 2016, killing 29 persons; Mar-Girgis Church in Tanta and St Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria on 19 April 2017, killing 27 and 18 persons respectively, and a military checkpoint in Naqab in 2017, killing 8 policemen. The Islamic State (IS), also known as Daesh, had claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The court handed 17 death sentences, 19 life in prison, nine 15-year prison sentences, and one 10-year prison sentence.
Among the defendants sentenced, 32 are in police custody and 17 were sentenced in absentia. As per the Egyptian law, the court has referred the case to Egypt’s Grand Mufti for his non-binding Islamic legal opinion on the death sentence. The verdict is subject to appeal.
Even though Amnesty International has described the death sentences as “grossly unfair” and no deterrent to further attacks, the general opinion voiced by Copts on social media was that justice has been served.
12 October 2018