State failing to act on wave of attacks

2013-07-15 21:34
The car of a Coptic Christian priest killed in al-Arish north of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.

The car of a Coptic Christian priest killed in al-Arish north of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cairo - Egypt's Christians have been targeted in a wave of attacks since the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, and the state is failing to protect them, an NGO said on Monday.

Sectarian violence since the latest political upheaval in Egypt began has killed four Coptic Christians in Luxor governorate, with churches elsewhere torched and looted, said the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.

A Coptic man was also found decapitated on Thursday, five days after being kidnapped in the restive Sinai, where gunmen killed a Coptic priest the week earlier.

"What is disturbing is the failure of the security apparatus to act - which at times looks like collusion - to protect citizens and their property who are being targeted on the basis of their religion," the EIPR's Ishak Ibrahim said in a statement.

"Copts are paying the price of the inflammatory rhetoric against them coming from some Islamist leaders and supporters of the former president, who accuse Coptic spiritual leaders of conspiring to foment army intervention to remove Dr Morsi," he added.

In the worst violence cited by the rights group, in the two days after Morsi's ouster, revenge attacks over the killing of a Muslim man in Al-Dabaiya, a town west of Luxor, left four Copts dead and several homes torched and looted, the NGO said.

It accused the police of taking no action to protect them or escort them from their homes, which were surrounded, despite the fact they repeatedly called the security services for help.

The EIPR said it was troubled by the "disregard" of state institutions for these incidents and called on the interim authorities to take swift action to protect Egyptians and "end inflammatory campaigns targeting citizens on the basis of religion".

Sectarian tensions in Egypt have risen since an Islamist came to power for the first time in 2012, following the country's first free elections.

Egypt's Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II accused Morsi of "negligence" over his response to clashes outside Cairo's Coptic cathedral in which two people died and many were wounded.

The funeral service was for four Christians killed in a gun battle with Muslims in a town north of Cairo in which one Muslim also died.

Read more on:    egypt  |  north africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.