Copts criticise Egypt constitution panel

2011-02-15 22:05

Cairo - A Coptic Christian rights group complained on Tuesday that a panel appointed by the Egyptian military to review the constitution includes the Muslim Brotherhood and under-represents Copts.

"Millions of Copts object to the committee formed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces," Nagib Gibrail, head of the Egyptian Union for Human Rights, said in a statement.

"The inclusion of elements from the Muslim Brotherhood without any Copt negates the principles of the January 25 revolution, in which Coptic and Muslim blood intermingled," the statement said.

Gibrail told AFP the inclusion of Sami Yusef, a Coptic deputy judge in the constitutional court, did not count as Coptic representation.

Yusef holds his membership in a judicial capacity, whereas the Brotherhood is represented politically, Gibrail said.

On Wednesday, a delegation of Coptic activists will petition the head of the military junta, Defence Minister Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, to include Copts in the committee, the statement said.

Egypt's Copts are the Middle East's largest Christian community and make up about 10% of the country's 80-million population.

A suicide bomber with suspected al-Qaeda links killed at least 21 people outside a Coptic church after mass on January 1.