Another bloody Christmas for Egypt’s Coptic Christians as Copts protest

Justice image 2018

Protests are scheduled for Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin  for 30 Dec 2018. We warn members of our community and the media to disregard any suspicious ‘cancellation’ notices and contact us on 0452124121 (Sydney) or 0407965999 (Melbourne) or email aucopticmovement@gmail.com for any questions. 

Another bloody Christmas for Egypt’s Coptic Christians as Copts protest

Egypt’s President Al-Sisi is expected to visit the new Cathedral in Cairo’s new administrative capital on 6th January 2019. The New Administrative Capital is President Sisi’ signature project. It will cost in excess of 45 Billion US Dollars and will include new government infrastructure and a relocation of most Government headquarters 50km away from the current capital.

The Coptic Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas that night according to the older Julian calendar. The President along with the Coptic Patriarch will be all smiles for the well-staged event as the Egyptian President continues his overtures to promote religious tolerance. The goal of the evening will be to send a clear message to the world that Egypt’s Coptic Christians are treated equally and that Coptic Christians are not persecuted or even discriminated against.

The Australian Coptic Movement Association (ACM) does welcome these gestures by the Egyptian president, however, we also urge the Egyptian President to match the rhetoric with real action and urgent intervention. Egyptian Christians in the US, France and Canada commenced protests in recent days following the recent murders in Al Minya. This time it was not ISIS militants or sectarian attacks, but the Egyptian Police.

Video footage clearly shows a policeman opening fire on the unarmed victims, Imad Sadiq and his son David, on the 13th December in Al Minya. They were killed in cold blood in an incident that has outraged the Coptic Community in Egypt around the world following a spate of fatal terror attacks, mob violence and church closures.

Sadly, it is not the first time that the State’s security forces have massacred unarmed Coptic Christian civilians.

Egyptian authorities, particularly in Southern Egypt, continued to conduct “customary reconciliation” sessions between Muslims and Christians. In ALL cases, we have the Muslim majority attacking the local Christian minority and the local authorities and Muslim and Christian religious leaders at times have abused these sessions to compel victims to abandon their claims to any legal remedy. Dismayingly, in some cases, Christian families have been forced to leave their villages and sell their property.

This coming Sunday December 30th there will be protests held in Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin.  We have one simple demand JUSTICE.

Justice and Equality for Egypt’s Coptic Christians will never be achieved unless the following are addressed as a matter of urgency:

1) The Egyptian Government should establish a special inquiry to examine and investigate all sectarian attacks that have occurred, past and present and ensure that perpetrators are apprehended and held accountable for their crimes. This should also include members of the Police and Military who have committed crimes against Coptic civilians;
2) The Egyptian Government should immediately end the use of ‘Reconciliation sessions’. The Egyptian government must prosecute perpetrators of sectarian violence through the judicial system;
3) The Egyptian Government must apprehend ALL parties that are involved in the forced conversion of Egyptian Christian women and girls. We demand that the women and young girls are immediately returned to their families and that their captors are arrested and convicted.
4) Replace the discriminatory 2016 Church Construction Law with One Law for ALL construction of houses of worship;
5) The Egyptian government should undertake further reforms to improve religious freedom conditions, including removing religion from official identity documents;
6) The Egyptian government to repeal or revise article 98(f) of the penal code, which criminalizes contempt of religion, or blasphemy, and in the interim provide the constitutional and international guarantees of the rule of law and due process for those individuals charged with violating article 98(f);
7) The Egyptian government must address incitement to violence and discrimination against non-Muslims, including by prosecuting clerics who incite violence against minority communities;
8) The Egyptian government should revise all textbooks and other educational materials to remove any language or images that promote intolerance, hatred, or violence toward any group of persons based on religion or belief, and include the concepts of tolerance and respect for the human rights of all individuals, including religious freedom, in all school curricula, textbooks, and teacher training;
9) The Egyptian government should provide support to human rights and other civil society or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to advance freedom of religion or belief for all Egyptians.

As we approach a New Year, we also take time out to remember and pray for the hundreds of families who have been impacted by previous massacres that have occurred at this time. From El-Kosheh to Alexandria, we have many hundreds of families celebrating New Years and Coptic Orthodox Christmas without loved ones at their dinner table. In the majority of cases, the murderers are roaming the streets freely as no one is ever sentenced for these terrible crimes.

Justice is our only demand as we gather on Sunday 30 December at the following locations

Sydney – 12.30pm Egyptian Consulate 33 York Street, Sydney  – contact +61 452 124 121

Melbourne – 12.30pm Egyptian Consulate 50 Market Street, Melbourne – contact +61 407 965 999

Darwin – 12.30pm – Parliament House – contact +61 452 124 121

Email: aucopticmovement@gmail.com

Twitter: @auscma

https://www.facebook.com/auscma/

Website: www.auscma.com

Minya police funeral

 

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