It was with great dismay that I learned of expulsion of eight Coptic families from the village of el-Amerya, a village near Alexandria.
On January 27, Coptic Christians were attacked by a crowd of approximately three thousand Muslims led by Salafi leaders. The crowd set fire to the Copts’ houses and shops. The violence was sparked by the allegations that a Coptic man had "illegal" photos of a Muslim woman on his cell phone. These allegations have subsequently been proved to be false.
The expulsion was a result of demands made by members of the Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood in “reconciliation meetings” following the January 27th violence.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), an independent Egyptian human rights organization, established in 2002, had condemned the police and army forces for failing to protect the homes and property of the Copts. In a statement released on February 12, 2012, the EIPR stressed that the law does not permit reconciliation in the deliberate crime of arson. EIPR said the officials were clearly in violation of the law which requires a criminal investigation. It added that the investigation should be extended to include the role of security forces that were present at the crime scene as it happened but did not provide protection for the victims.
This expulsion is an assault on the personal rights guaranteed by the Egyptian Constitution. Egyptian authorities must investigate this matter, charge the arsonists and bring them to justice. They must also ensure that this forced expulsion is rescinded; that full restitution is made to the victims; that the victims are allowed to return to their homes and businesses; and, that they are allowed to live in peace and security.
The right to practice one’s faith is a basic human right. Stephen Harper must either call in the Egyptian Ambassador or send a Diplomatic Note to express the revulsion of Canadians at these attacks and expulsions.
Sign the petition to ask the Harper Government hold the Egyptian Government accountable: http://www.jimkarygiannis.net/petition_and_action_requests/coptic_petition
Mr. Karygiannis is the Chairman of the Liberal Canadian Coptic Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Association. He has traveled to Egypt on a number of occasions and seen the hardships suffered by the Coptic Community in Egypt.
Hon. Jim Karygiannis P.C., M.P.
Liberal Critic of Multiculturalism
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From: Hon. Jim Karygiannis P.C., M.P.
Date: Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Subject: Expulsion of Eight Coptic Families from el-Amerya, Egypt - Statement by the Honourable Jim Karygiannis
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