Familiar Scenario in Egypt’s Continued Failure to Prosecute Muslim Offenders
Washington, D.C. (March 23, 2010) International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that for the second time, the Egyptian government has postponed the trial of three Egyptian Muslims charged with murder for killing six Christian youth in Nag Hammadi.
On March 21, the Egyptian Gazette reported that the trial of Mohammed al-Kammuni, Qorshi Abul Haggag and Hendawi Sayyed, who have been charged with murder and threatening national security, will be postponed until April 18.
The three perpetrators gunned-down six young Christian men and a police officer on January 6, as Copts were exiting Christmas Eve mass in Nag Hammadi. This attack was the largest assault on Copts since January 2000, when 21 were killed in sectarian violence.
Wagih Yacoub, a Coptic human rights activist, told ICC, “They have postponed the trial twice, and they are going to postpone it again and again… this is what we worry about. Soon the case will die… and all of a sudden we will wake up one day, and the guys will be innocent, and they will walk around on the street again after killing six kids at the Christmas mass. The Copts are furious about this postponement. We reject it and demand an immediate trial.”
Aidan Clay, ICC Regional Manager of the Middle East, said, “ICC predicts that once the murders of these Coptic Christians in Nag Hammadi are forgotten, the judge will issue a light sentence, perhaps one to five years imprisonment with bail, and then the murderers will be released back onto the streets. We have seen this occur time and again. Egyptian Muslims who kill Christians in Egypt continue to do so because they are fully aware that their crime will almost always go unpunished. In recent months, we have seen thousands of Coptic Christians around the world take to the streets in protest against the criminal acts of their government. Let us not see this fervor end, but let us continue to speak out by demanding justice and equality for Egypt’s Christians.”
# # #
You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference ICC (International Christian Concern) and include our web address, www.persecution.org. ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church. For additional information or for an interview, contact ICC at 800-422-5441.