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NCHR orders investigation into security forces assault on Minya's Copts - Daily News Egypt

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NCHR orders investigation into security forces assault on Minya’s Copts

Beheadings in Sinai not looked into, says Egypt's Copts coalition leader

NCHR orders investigation into security forces assault on Minya's Copts. (AFP Photo)
NCHR orders investigation into security forces assault on Minya’s Copts.
(AFP Photo)

The Free Egyptians¬†Party¬†called on Monday for an ‚Äúurgent and transparent‚ÄĚ investigation¬†into the Jabal al-Tair¬†incident in¬†Al-Minya where police stormed into Copts’ properties and hit them.

Last week, 22 people were detained for rioting. Christians were protesting to call for the return of a kidnapped Christian woman who has been missing for more than a week, demanding that the police locate her. Her husband had filed a report on her kidnap, but nothing had been done, according to Nader Solaiman, founder of the Christian Youth movement.

The police clashed with the protesters and on the following night stormed houses and shops belonging to Christians and beat people, including women and children, said Solaiman.¬† Some were tied and hit, others dragged, while men and women were ‚Äúinsulted‚ÄĚ.

The National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) ordered an investigation on Monday. ‚ÄúThe council is looking into criminal evidence,‚ÄĚ said the council’s head Hafez Abo Saada.

‚ÄúThe police deal with Egyptians in an inhumane way,‚ÄĚ said Fady Yousef, head of the Egypt’s Copts Coalition. ‚ÄúWe are going back to the Mubarak era‚Ķwhen there were ‚Äėnight visitors‚Äô, only they were less chaotic,‚ÄĚ said Yousef, in reference to a technique used by state security during toppled president Hosni Mubarak’s regime.

People are being forced to accept ‚Äúreality‚ÄĚ, said Youssef, that churches are burnt, girls kidnapped and Christians beheaded in Sinai without arresting the criminals, yet protesting these incidents gets people in trouble. ‚ÄúThere is no social justice,‚ÄĚ he added.

The Free Egyptians’ Monday statement said that the incident might escalate, especially as it occurred near the¬†tense region where supporters of¬†the Muslim Brotherhood burnt churches¬†in the wake of¬†the Rabaa Al-Adaweya Square sit-in dispersal in August 2013.

The¬†party¬†expressed its fears¬†that ‚Äúthe escape of the girl‚ÄĚ, a social issue, would turn into a sectarian one, ‚Äúespecially at a time when the country is facing increasing terrorism and the President is on an important visit to the US‚ÄĚ.

The statement added that the churches and Al-Azhar need to address the crisis socially, asking the police to understand the problems and not act in a way that ends in security escalation, ‚Äúwhich may complicate matters further‚ÄĚ.

There have been 239 kidnaps in the last six months from Al-Minya, Assiut, Sohag and other governorates, with the majority of kidnaps occurring in Al-Minya. Copts have had to pay EGP 21m in total to ensure their return, as security forces were ineffective, according to Egyptian Union for Human Rights Organization (EUHRO) head Nagib Gabriel.

The behaviour of security forces is the same as it was during Mubarak’s era, said Gabriel. The situation facing Copts is extremely bad, and they are excluded from interior ministry and other posts, the lawyer added.

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