ACM Condemns Police Brutality against Copts in Samalot

Gabal Al Tayr

We are deeply concerned regarding the ongoing kidnapping of Coptic women and men in Egypt. Just days ago a Coptic Doctor in Sinai was released by Islamists only after paying a huge sum of money. In Naga Hamadi up to 72 Copts have been kidnapped for ransom. The police have done little to help rescue kidnapped Copts yet they were able to conduct a brutal raid on Coptic homes in the ‘Gabal Al Teyr’ district of Samalot. This district is a popular pilgrimage site for Coptic Christians and is home to the ancient church of the virgin Mary where the holy family took refuge whilst in Egypt.

The Australian Coptic Movement Association (ACM) expresses its deep regret and outrage at recent incidents of police brutality in Minya, Upper Egypt.

According to Egyptian media reports, police officers raided several homes of Coptic Christians in the Minya province in September 2014. Copts, including women, were beaten. Several individuals were left wounded and scarred. Their homes were looted. Car windows were smashed and other property was damaged. Copts were insulted and vilified throughout the harrowing ordeal.

ACM is gravely concerned that institutions of the State that are charged with the responsibility of protecting civilians are instead terrorizing Copts. ACM understands that these sickening raids have followed clashes between protestors and the Minya police force over the abduction of a Coptic female. In that incident, protestors were demonstrating to demand that authorities locate the kidnapped person before clashes ensued. The ACM interpolates to note that this recent abduction is regrettably an instance of a phenomenon in Egypt that shows no sign of abating. Earlier this year, the Egyptian Association of Victims of Abduction and Enforced Disappearances reported that 550 Coptic Christian females have been abducted in the last three years and that often, police officials are ambivalent when these cases are reported.

ACM categorically condemns these police raids as unlawful and in clear breach of the inalienable rights of Coptic Christians. ACM demands that the Egyptian authorities take swift and decisive action to ensure that those individuals responsible for these callous and unjustifiable attacks against the civilian population are identified and prosecuted under the fullest extent of the law. Police officials cannot operate in such a manner with impunity.

ACM also calls for President Sisi to dismiss Minya’s governor and to remove senior police officials responsible for overseeing police operations in Minya from their posts. We consider this response to be necessary as it is wholly unacceptable that senior government officials continue to hold power when they have vividly illustrated their unfitness to handle the difficult task of overseeing police operations in an increasingly inhospitable region for Copts.

ACM is closely monitoring these events. We hope and pray for peace, justice and tolerance to prevail in Minya.

The Australian Coptic Movement Association

The ACM has been working hard for our community since 2010. We have held rallies, vigils, seminars, conferences and published a historic book.  We have tickets available to our Coptic New Year Dinner celebration  on 4 October 2014.  Contact Medhat Attia on 0405-394-040 for more information or see related links on our website.

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