Published: 11:00 GMT Daylight Time - Thursday 03 May 2012
Christian massacre case in Egypt dropped due to “lack of evidence”
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Egypt
A panel of judges had been appointed by the minister of justice to investigate the incident, which happened on 9 October 2011 when Christians were demonstrating against the torching of a church and other injustices. They came under brutal attack by security forces, Islamists and violent thugs; 27 Christians were killed and 329 people were injured.
On 24 April, the case was closed, with judges citing a lack of evidence; Judge Sarwat Hammad said there was “lack of identification of the culprits” who killed nine Christians with ammunition.
Vivian Magdi, whose fiancé Michael Mosad was crushed under a military vehicle, said that dropping the case against an “unknown” was a “farce”.
Mary Daniel, whose sister Mina was shot dead during the incident, added:
This case is being handled by the killer [the state] and of course it would be impossible for the killer to condemn himself.
Charges against 28 Christians who had been detained in connection with the incident were also dropped for lack of evidence. But two Christians were referred to the criminal court accused of stealing a machine gun from a military vehicle and, incredibly, using it to kill fellow Christians.
Said Fayez, one of the Christians’ defence lawyers, said that the rights of those who were killed have been denied by a judiciary that is just filling space. He vowed to continue fighting for justice.
A military court will hear the case of three conscripts who were allegedly driving the military armoured vehicles that ran over and killed 14 Christians. They are charged with involuntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment.