The rights group Egyptians Against Religious Discrimination (MARED) held a demonstration on Saturday 13 August at noon in front of the High Court in Downtown Cairo to express support with the Minya Copts who were victim of attacks by fanatic Muslims. MARED also protested against what they described as procrastination by the State authorities in tackling the complaints of Copts. They filed a complaint with the Prosecutor –General, whose office is at the High Court, against the Interior Minister, Minya Governor, Minya Security Chief, and the mayors of the villages which were the scenes of attacks against Copts.
The protest was licensed and protected by Cairo security authority, and lasted for one hour.
The following day, Sunday 14 August, MARED held a conference at the group’s headquarter in Cairo to discuss the recent violence against Copts in Minya. MARED coordinator Mounir Megahed began by pointing out that Minya saw a number of attacks against Copts throughout the last three months for reasons that included the building of a church, demands that no church should be built, or rumours of social situations not acceptable to Muslims. In all cases, the Copts in the village were collectively attacked, even those who had nothing to do with the alleged cause of the attack. Coptic property was plundered and burned, and women and children terrorised for no reason other than their being Copt. Mr Megahed condemned the fact that in the majority of cases the Copts were forced into oppressive ‘conciliation’ sponsored by the governor, and local security officials and politicians. The conciliation terms were non-constitutional, especially in cases where Copts—whether those directly involved in the conflict or others who merely had to defend themselves and their families—were forced to leave their home villages and relocate elsewhere.
MP Nadia Henry participated in the conference, and gave a word in which she stressed that the Egyptian State should work to regain its dignity which was lost in the out-of-law settlements famously called conciliation sessions. But more importantly, she said, it was vital that Egypt should stand up to attempts to wipe out the Egyptian character that historically celebrated and embraced plurality, in favour of upholding fundamental Islamist notions. “All Egyptians are equal before the law,” she insisted.
The conference closed with resolutions that called for the strict implementation of the law and taking to account the officials who hindered that, to bring about justice.
17 August 2016