Mr Laurie Ferguson MP, Federal Member for Werriwa has written to the Australian Coptic Movement Association (ACM) confirming that he requested Senator the Hon. Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs to call in the Egyptian Ambassador following ongoing attacks on Copts in Egypt.
Below is an excerpt from Mr Ferguson’s letter to Senator Bob Carr:
“I appreciate the seriousness of calling in an Ambassador to indicate Australia’s concerns about particular issues. However, events in Egypt appear to demand such action.
On April 14th I attended a sizeable rally in Sydney’s Martin Place with a significant number of NSW and Commonwealth parliamentarians in the aftermath of violent attacks on mourners at Cairo’s St Mark’s Cathedral”.
The ACM welcomes Mr Ferguson’s stance and we look forward to a prompt response from the Senator Hon. Bob Carr. We also demand that the Australian Government immediately makes strong representations on this serious issue at the United Nations.
It is quite clear that The Egyptian government has not only failed to take appropriate action to afford protection to Egypt’s vulnerable Coptic community but also directly participated in the persecution.
We are also deeply concerned over the welfare of 24 year Demiana Nour. She has been held by Egyptian police in Luxor since 8 May 2013 under ‘defamation of religion’ charges. Demiana is a young teacher who was merely undertaking her teaching duties.
We demand that the Egyptian authorities immediately release Demiana and all Copts who have been have been charged under flimsy ‘defamation of religion’ charges.
The Australian Coptic Movement Association