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  • » 11/03/2011, 00.00

    EGYPT

    Army absolved of responsibility in massacre of Coptic demonstrators



    This is the conclusion of an investigation by the government-sponsored National Council for Human Rights. Outside elements that infiltrated the demonstration organised by Coptic activists were responsible for the 28 deaths and hundreds of wounded. The reference to a third party is used to “whitewash the military,” a spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church said.
    Cairo (AsiaNews) – The Egyptian army did not fire on Coptic demonstrators on 9 October during clashes that left 28 people dead, this according to National Council for Human Rights (NCHR). In a report released today, the council absolved the military of all responsibility in shooting against the crowd. According to the investigators, none of the bullets found in the square in front of the state TV building were issued to soldiers. Unidentified outside groups instead fired on protesters. The report does not mention the people deliberatively run over by military vehicles. Abu Saeda, a member of the NCHR, said an independent commission of inquiry would be set shortly to shed light on what happened.

    “They used the definition of a third party in order to whitewash the military,” Fr Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church, told AsiaNews. This is a usual reference to criminal groups tied to the old regime and businessmen opposed to military power.

    “People do not agree very much with the document,” he added. “There is an impression that the military did not provide security to the demonstrators.”

    The problem could be swept under carpet, the clergyman noted. At present, all political parties are busy preparing for the 28 November elections. At the same time, the military is trying to enhance its stature and maintain a consensus in the country.

    For various rights ctivists, the report lacks details.

    "They should have mentioned the kinds of bullets that were in the bodies of the victims as that would be an indicator of what kind of weapon was used," said Gamal Eid, director of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information.

    The NCHR is close to the government, he noted, both during the Mubarak regime and now under the current military government. Its investigation lacks credibility.
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    See also

    11/12/2010 EGYPT
    Protests over block on church of the Pyramids. "The government discriminates against Christians"
    168 Copts are still in jail (including 20 children) arrested during the demonstration on November 24 against the block on construction of the church opposed by radical Muslims. Appeal to Mubarak to punish those who authorized the use of weapons.

    12/10/2009 PALESTINE – UNITED NATIONS
    Mahmoud Abbas backtracks, says postponing vote on Goldstone Report a mistake
    The president of the Palestinian National Authority disowns decision taken a week ago in Geneva. Meanwhile the signing of Fatah-Hamas reconciliation deal set for 25 October in Cairo is called off.

    22/10/2005 EGYPT
    Two killed and dozens wounded in anti-Christian demonstration in Egypt

    Muslims are up in arms against Copts for a play dubbed as "offensive to Islam". Christian leaders: "The work is against extremism, not Muslims". This could well be a strategy of the Internal Affairs Ministry to create tension before the election.



    27/04/2010 CHINA
    With a growing economy, China becomes increasingly repressive
    In 2009, more and more people have been arrested, sent to “re-education” camps or “black jails” or subjected to internet censorship. As Chinese leaders feel more secure about the country’s growing economy and its international status, popular dissatisfaction grows, leading to clashes with police. Instead, human rights should be respected in order to build Hu Jintao’s “harmonious society”.

    10/10/2012 EGYPT
    Tens of thousands of Egyptians take to the streets a year after the massacre of Copts at Maspero
    Muslims and people from the Islamic university of al-Azhar take part in the rally. Slogans are shouted against President Morsi and the military, accused of doing nothing to bring to justice those responsible for the bloodbath.



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