Link to report: http://abuqurqasverdict.blogspot.co.uk/
I- ABU QURQAS SECTARIAN CALSHES
II-ABU QURQAS TRIAL AND VERDICT
III-VIDEO DOCUMENTATION OF THE INCIDENT
Posted 7th July by Maspero Youth Union
Human Rights Watch article
Official Denials Suggest Investigation Will be Flawed
October 25, 2011
Abu Qurqas, April 19
On April 19, in Abu Qurqas, 120 miles south of Cairo, a dispute between a Muslim minibus driver and security guards at the house of a prominent Coptic politician escalated into an assault by dozens of Muslims on the house and Coptic-owned businesses. Rioting broke out and dozens of Christian homes and businesses were burned. According to Al-Ahram, two people died in the unrest.
The circumstances are in dispute. A lawyer for a Christian defendant said those killed were Muslim and were victims of an intra-Muslim shootout that was then blamed on the Christian security guards.
Ten Muslims and eight Copts, including a Christian politician, Alaa Reda Roushdi, the owner of the house, are being tried in the episode in the Emergency State Security Court.
Speed bump ignites feud that kills 2 in Upper Egypt
Wed, 20/04/2011 - 11:46
Two people were killed and two others injured during a fight between Muslim and Christians Monday night in Abu Qurqas, Minya.
A dispute flared between a Christian family and a Muslim family when the latter objected to a speed bump the Christian family erected in front of its house. The Coptic homeowner, Alaa Reda Roushdi, is a former National Democratic Party parliamentary candidate.
He denied some accusations that he ignited the violence, saying the fight broke out after a motorcyclist and a taxi driver had an accident near the speed bump.
"I came back from work on Monday night and found a biker and a taxi driver fighting in front of my home, as both had an accident," Roushdi said.
Roushdi said a cafeteria he owns was damaged in the accident.
The dispute developed into a gun fight, leading to the death of two and the injury of two others.
The clashes renewed as both families attended the funeral of the victims. Dozens smashed Christian-owned stores, and four Christian houses at the nearby Fekriya village were set on fire, covering the village with pillows of smoke.
Security forces surrounded Roushdi's house to protect his family from retaliation.
Minya's criminal investigations chief, Atef al-Qeyi, said that police authorities were coordinating with the military to apprehend those suspected of arson and vandalism.
Calm was restored when army and police forces were deployed to prevent further fighting.
Curfew imposed in Upper Egypt for fear of sectarian violence
Ahram Online , Wednesday 20 Apr 2011
Amidst tensions between a Muslim and Coptic family that left two dead over the removal of a speed bump in Abu Qurqas, a curfew is imposed in attempts to avoid violence
Curfew imposed in the city of Abu Qurqas Tuesday evening in order to control the tense situation between Muslims and Copts in the small city in Minya Governorate 260km south of Cairo.
The decision came after clashes escalated between two families, one of them Muslim and the other Coptic, to the point where two died and five were injured Monday night.
Clashes started beside the home of a Coptic former candidate for parliament of Al-Watany Party. His supporters tried to rebuild the road bump after members of the other (Muslim) family removed it because they complained it obstructs traffic.
Abu Qurqas recently made the news over the sectarian crisis of Camilia Shehatah, the wife of a Coptic priest that is said to have converted to Islam about a year ago and was allegedly being held against her will.
Collective Punishment of Egyptian Christians For Death of Two Muslims
Posted GMT 4-26-2011 2:39:9
(AINA) -- After the death of two Muslims on April 18 sectarian violence broke out in the southern Egyptian town of Abu Qurqas El Balad, in Minya Governorate, 260 KM south of Cairo. One Christian Copt was killed, an old woman was thrown out of her second floor balcony and ten Copts were hospitalized. Coptic homes, shops, businesses, fields and livestock were plundered and torched.
Christians lived in terror, anticipating a blood bath on Friday, April 22 because Muslims as announced their intention to avenge the death of the two Muslims. Rumors spread throughout Abu Qurqas of many strangers and of trucks loaded with weapons coming into the village to carry out the threats during the Easter week. The terrorized Christian villagers sent pleas everywhere, asking for protection, even to Coptic groups in Europe and the U.S.
"Muslims threw my old mother out of the second floor balcony and torched my home," said Adel Abdulllah to Hazem Refaat of Free Copts advocacy. His business and home were torched and his father and three brothers were arrested on suspicion of killing the two Muslims.
Copt Eid Roshdy, was stabbed during the violence and later died in hospital.
According to Bishop Makarious twenty Coptic families had their homes and businesses looted by Muslims then torched, and their livestock was stolen. "One shop was only 50 meters away from the police station," he said. He also confirmed the story of the mother of Adel Abdullah who was thrown out of the second floor balcony.
Curfew was imposed in the village on Tuesday and Wednesday evening, from 7 PM until 6 AM to control the violence but various sources reported that looting and destruction of Coptic property continued after the curfew, even in the presence of the army and police.
According to the villagers a fight broke out on Monday, April 18 between the two Muslim families, Abdel-Kader and el-Gazzar which resulted in the death of two Muslims. Meanwhile an altercation took place in front of the villa of Coptic attorney Alaa Reda Roushdy between a minibus driver and passengers and the guards of the villa over a speed hump built in front of the residence, which the driver claimed was damaging busses. People congregated and the villa guards shot into the air to disperse the crowd. The Copts were accused of killing the two Muslims.
Bishop Makarious of Minya and Abu Qurqas said the first version of the story was the Muslims were killed during the fight between two Muslim families, then the story changed to accuse the Copts.
Ayad Shaban, a local villager told Al Karma TV the two Muslims were killed in the Eastern side of village where the majority of the Muslims live. "Then the story of the speed hump came and Muslims connected the two together and accused the Christians of the killing. There is no proof the Christians killed the Muslims." He added that relationship between Muslims and Christians are usually good and believes whoever created this story came from outside the village and incited the Muslims.
In retaliation, Muslims attacked and looted two tourist coffee shops belonging to attorney Roushdy. One coffee shop was turned into a mosque called the "Martyrs" and the second one was destroyed.
Next day during the funeral of the Muslims hundreds of Muslims from neighboring villages joined and notes were distributed among them saying the Christians were the culprit. After burying the dead the Muslim mob shouted for revenge for their two "martyrs" and attacked Christian homes while shouting "Allahu Akbar." (video shows Muslims looting Coptic property before torching it while chanting "Allahu Akbar." Army soldiers are seen passing through the looters).
Father Rofail of the Saints Church in Abu Qorqas said "It was terrible, the people who were in the funeral left and started shooting in the air and throwing Molotov cocktails at homes and fields belonging to Copts; some homes were demolished. Anything belonging to Christians was destroyed."
According to Coptic activist Nader Shoukry, fifteen Copts and eight Muslims have been detained for the murder of the two Muslims. No one has been detained for the attacks against the Copts. "None of the Muslims who looted and destroyed Coptic property was questioned," said Bishop Makarious. He added it was a miracle that the Copts were not harmed when their homes were torched. "They had to jump over the roofs of the neighboring houses to escape the flames. In one instance a wall had to be broken between two houses to get the people out as they could not escape otherwise." He criticized the police and the army for not bringing the situation under control. "We expected more from the police and army, but they were not impartial."
The new Governor of Minya appeared on Egyptian Hayat TV and said the incidents in Abu Qurqas El Balad was not sectarian but a fight over a speed hump which escalated, and denied the loss of property.
Security forces prevented TV stations from filming inside the village and Muslims also attempted to prevent Christians from filming, but many video clips have been uploaded to youtube (video showing Coptic homes after looting).
Coptic attorney Dr. Ihab Ramzy called on Copts who have had their property damaged or lost to file a complaint with the police in order for him to represents them for compensation. He said they had to name the assailants in their report, but this may be not be possible because the victims were threatened by Muslims not to mention their names.
Attorney Roushdy was arrested by the military two days ago and accused of provoking riots which led to the death and injury of citizens. Today the military ordered him to be detained for 15 days pending investigations.
By Mary Abdelmassih
Posted 7th July by Maspero Youth Union
II-ABU QURQAS TRIAL AND VERDICTII-ABU QURQAS TRIAL AND VERDICT
Human Rights Watch article
Emergency Court Trials Unfair, ‘Reconciliation’ Punishes Victims
July 16, 2012
(New York) – The new administration of President Mohamed Morsy should take urgent steps to address sectarian violence. The administration should ensure that those responsible for the violence are identified, investigated, and prosecuted in courts that meet international fair trial standards and order a retrial of those sentenced by discredited emergency law courts.
Under the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which took power after former president Mubarak’s ouster in February 2011, Egypt has had at least 12 incidents of serious sectarian violence, which has left numerous homes and shops destroyed and at least 25 people dead. Only two cases have resulted in prosecutions, but prosecutors referred the cases to Emergency State Security Courts, which were notorious for failing to meet minimum due process standards and whose verdicts cannot be appealed. Other cases were handled with so-called reconciliation meetings, which did not result in justice, Human Rights Watch said.
“Sectarian tensions in Egypt have long been punctuated by outbursts of criminal violence, yet time and again authorities fail to prosecute or punish those responsible,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Putting an end to sectarian violence means prosecuting those responsible and making sure that the outcome is fair.”
In October 2011, Human Rights Watch documented three serious attacks on Christians in which prosecutors declined to investigate suspected arsonists, looters, and assailants. Those episodes – in Atfih, Muqattam, and Marinab – have yet to be investigated.
In the few instances in which the government has prosecuted suspects, authorities have used emergency courts, where defendants can’t get a fair trial and there is no right of appeal of even the most questionable verdict, Human Rights Watch said. Human Rights Watch has found in monitoring trials before Emergency State Security Courts that the judges routinely fail to investigate allegations of torture properly, accept confessions obtained under torture, and do not allow defendants adequate access to lawyers outside the courtroom. With the May 31, 2012 expiry of the state of emergency, the public prosecutor can no longer refer cases to these courts.
The new president should ensure a system is in place to speedily review and quash all verdicts issued after unfair trails, including all verdicts issued by emergency courts, Human Rights Watch said.
The use of so-called reconciliation meetings in lieu of prosecutions following violent attacks has allowed those responsible to escape justice and has even led to the forcible eviction of victims from their homes, Human Rights Watch said. Not only have such reconciliation talks failed to calm repeated outbreaks of sectarian tension, but they have provided a cover for impunity for perpetrators of violence.
Coptic Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s mostly Sunni Muslim population. In a study issued in April 2010, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), an Egyptian human rights group, documented over 50 cases of sectarian Muslim-Christian violence over a two-year period, mostly cases in which Muslims attacked Christians for practicing religious rites or punished them collectively for a real or imagined offense involving a Muslim woman or a perceived insult to Islam. Among the flashpoints have been Muslim objections to Christian church construction, which is subject to discriminatory regulations requiring presidential approval. Egyptian authorities should act quickly to put in place non-discriminatory regulations for construction of places of worship.
The government should ensure that prosecutors investigate and prosecute without discrimination those responsible for religious-based violence, whether the victims are Christian or Muslim, and provide adequate protection for residents who wish to remain in their homes. Given the pattern of impunity and the failure to investigate effectively, the public prosecutor should personally supervise the conduct of such investigations to ensure those responsible are brought to justice, Human Rights Watch said.
In one of the two cases in which prosecutors brought charges, on May 21, 2012, an Emergency State Security Court in the southern city of Minya sentenced 12 Christians to life in prison and acquitted 8 Muslim defendants who had been charged in connection with clashes between Muslims and Christians a year earlier in the nearby towns of Abu Qurqas and al-Fekria. The violence left two Muslims dead, scores of Christian shops and homes torched, and several Muslims and Christians wounded.
Morsy should refuse to ratify the verdict in the Abu Qurqas case and all other rulings by the emergency security courts and order a retrial, Human Rights Watch said. The public prosecutor should order a new investigation in the case and bring the resulting prosecutions before a regular civilian court that meets international fair trial standards.
The Abu Qurqas Emergency Court Verdict
On the evening of April 18, 2011, clashes lasting several days erupted between Muslim and Christian residents in Abu Qurqas and al-Fekria, towns in the Upper Egypt governorate of Minya that have significant Christian and Muslim populations. Ishak Ibrahim, a researcher at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights who investigated the incident, told Human Rights Watch that the dispute started over a disagreement concerning the construction of a speed-bump in front of the home of Alaa Rida Rushdi, a Christian lawyer. Based on an investigation of the incident by EIPR, an initial effort by Muslim and Christian residents that evening to resolve the dispute broke down and subsequently escalated into clashes between the Muslim and Christian residents.
The report that EIPR made available to Human Rights Watch said the escalation may have been triggered by a separate feud between two Muslim families in which shots were fired on the same day. Following rumors that the shots had been directed at Christian homes and after Muslim residents gathered in front of Christian homes shouting religious and sectarian slogans, some Christians fired weapons from their rooftops, injuring Ali Abd al-Kader Ali, 48; Ma’bad Abu Zeid Mohamed, 28; Mustafa Gomaa Mohamed, 25; and Mahmoud Gamal Halim, 25. Ma’bad Abu Zeid Mohamed and Ali Abd El-Kader died from their wounds, and arson attacks damaged some 70 Christian-owned shops and 10 or more homes of Christians.
Police and army personnel, who went to the scene, arrested 12 Christians on suspicion of firing the shots as well as several whom they accused of “endangering public order.” Later that night a cafeteria owned by Rushdi was torched, and the next day unknown people wounded five Christians with sticks and sharp objects, one critically, in the same neighborhood. Police later arrested eight Muslims.
On April 19, the EIPR report said some participants in a funeral procession for one of the shooting victims broke into stores and torched an automobile, and the rioters were joined by others in response to calls from Muslim community members to take revenge for the deaths of the two Muslim men. This was followed by attacks by an enlarged group of rioters on Christian-owned properties in Muslim-majority areas that security forces were unable or unwilling to control.
EIPR viewed video recordings of men breaking into homes, stealing and setting them on fire, in some cases with police and soldiers standing by. When crowds attempted to attack homes and shops in areas where many Christians lived, residents responded with stones and bricks, and were able to prevent attacks on several Christian churches. At one point police diverted a planned funeral march for one of the victims away from Christian residences.
April 20 was calm following a curfew the night before. On April 21, dozens of activists, political personalities, and Muslim and Christian residents of al-Fekria held a peaceful march calling for national unity. As the march neared a church some Christians thought the crowd was threatening to attack and fired weapons into the air. Police sent officers to escort and protect the marchers. The march concluded peacefully.
On April 22, a Friday, an unknown person shot and wounded Fawzi Anwar Gadallah, a Christian farmer. Security forces increased their deployment in front of churches, especially at the time of midday Muslim prayers. At one demonstration, however, protesters threw bricks and broke windows at several churches. The authorities then arrested Rushdi and charged him with instigating the shootings.
In a report on the incidents dated April 30, Minya’s archbishopric wrote that the atmosphere had calmed considerably but that “no one has been arrested [for the attacks on Christians] despite submission of a list of names of persons responsible for the clashes, with video of the incident. In addition the families of those arrested are worried since they feel those arrested were not involved in the killings.”
Twelve Christians and eight Muslims were subsequently arraigned before an Emergency State Security Court in Minya on July 16, 2011. The Christian defendants were: Rushdi, Yacoub Fadl Akoush, Abdallah Michael Abdallah, Adel Abdallah Michael, Fanous Nadi Ibrahim, Magdi Nadi Ibrahim, Gamad Fouad Malk, Eid Ibrahim Fanous, Safwat Kamal Habib, Eid Abdallah Michael Abdallah, Magdi Abdallah Michael, and Said Wahid Deif. The Muslim defendants were: Ahmed Mostafa Rabi’, Taher Atef Taher, Khaled Ibrahim Mohamed, Ahmed Badr Mohamed, Rida Said Mohamed, Ramadan Abdelmoneim Mohamed, Ismail Mamduh Mahmoud, and Akram Abdelnabi Mohamed.
The Emergency State Security Court prosecutor accused all the Christian defendants of endangering public order by inciting sectarian violence and harming national unity, with intent to harm Muslims in Abu Qurqas. Several faced additional weapons charges and two [Abdallah Michael Abdallah and Adel Michael Abdallah] were charged with premeditated murder.
The eight Muslim defendants were accused of participating with others in endangering public order by inciting sectarian violence and harming national unity, and attacking Christian properties in Abu Qurqas with unlicensed firearms.
On May 21, the Emergency State Security Court convicted the 12 Christians on all charges and sentenced each of them to life in prison – which in practice in Egypt is 25 years – and acquitted all eight Muslim defendants. Emergency court verdicts cannot be appealed, but by law the president must ratify the verdict before it takes effect. At that time, the SCAF, headed by Field Marshall Hussein Tantawy, was acting in that capacity, but he had not ratified the verdict at the time of the June 30 handover to Morsy, who also has not acted in the case.
12 Copts sentenced to life in prison, 8 Muslims acquitted over Abu Qurqas violence
Mon, 21/05/2012 - 15:30
Minya Criminal Court on Monday sentenced 12 Copts to life imprisonment in the Abu Qurqas sedition case, the events of which left three people dead.
Head Judge Abdel Fattah Ahmed al-Sughayar acquitted eight other Muslim defendants.
On 18 April, a fight broke out between some residents of Abu Qurqas village in Minya Governorate over the construction of a speed bump outside the house of a Christian lawyer.
The fight resulted in the deaths of three people and the burning of several houses and barns.
Twenty people, including 12 Christian and eight Muslims, were sent to trial on charges of illegal gathering, premeditated murder, endangering the public, causing sectarian strife, arson, and possession of firearms, melee weapons and ammunition without a license.
After obtaining approval from Attorney General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, the trial sessions were transferred from Minya to the Beni Suef Court Complex for security reasons.
Edited translation from MENA
Egyptian Copts in Austria speak out against Abu Qurqas convictions
Al-Masry Al-Youm Thu, 31/05/2012 - 14:56
The Coptic Kimi Organization for Human Rights in Austria submitted on Thursday a complaint to Egypt’s ruling military council, prime minister, justice minister and the Egyptian embassy in Austria demanding the retrial of 12 Coptic suspects who were sentenced to life in prison in the Abu Qurqas sedition case.
“The Kimi Organization for Human Rights in Austria has submitted an official complaint demanding a retrial after the issuance of a ruling by the Minya Criminal Court which sentenced 12 Copts to life in prison and acquitted eight Muslim suspects,” the head of the organization, Farid Bekheet, told Al-Masry Al-Youm.
In April 2011, a fight broke out between some residents of Abu Qurqas village in Minya Governorate over the construction of a speed bump outside the house of a Christian lawyer.
The fight resulted in the deaths of three people and the burning of several houses and barns.
Bekheet demanded re-conducting investigations to reveal the real suspects, suspending the ruling, paying compensation for the racist rulings and reconstruction of the ruined houses.
“Our love for Egypt requires us to complete the 25 January revolution. Copts’ rights are part of the revolution’s demands,” he added.
If the ruling is not suspended, the organization said it will resort to the European Union, United Nations and all rights organizations.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm
EUCOHR: We won't hold still before the injustice of Abu Qurqas judgement
By-Michael Faris | 24 May 2012
European Union of Coptic Organizations for Human Rights denounced the ruling of Minya court in which 12 Christians were sentenced to life imprisonment while 8 Muslims were acquitted in spite of committing many crimes like holding weapons and explosives, attacking the others to kill them and demolishing their properties.
It called the Supreme Council of Armed Forces to cancel this ruling and retrial them, because such ruling will affect the reputation of Egypt. it was really weird as someone like Alaa Roushdy who wasn't present in the fight is sentenced to life imprisonment!
Members of the organization wondered if this is a sample of the Islamic justice. They added that they are looking forward to having a meeting with the European Parliament to discuss the sufferings of the Copts.
Egypt's Christians Outraged By Court Ruling
Posted GMT 5-24-2012 18:48:13
(AINA) -- The verdict passed by the Minya Criminal Court on May 21 convicting 12 Copts to life imprisonment while acquitting eight accused Muslims in the same case, known as Abu Qurqas sedition, has caused widespread anger among the Copts. Georges Wahib of United Copts, who attended the court session, said that when judge Abdel Fattah Ahmed al-Sughayar pronounced the verdict at the court yesterday "there was complete silence, as it came as a shock to everyone, then cries of grief and wailing could be heard from the Coptic families with shouts of we are innocent, while the Muslim side broke out into jubilation and shouts of Allahu Akbar."
All prisoners were taken to the basement, and the court itself was surrounded by hundreds of military police. For security the court session was transferred to Beni Suef from Minya Criminal Court.
The events of the case started on April 18, 2011 over a speed hump built in front of the residence of a wealthy Coptic lawyer, Alaa Reda Roushdi, which a minibus driver claimed was damaging cars. The fight that broke out led to the death of 2 Muslims, injury to 4 Copts, and the destruction and looting of Coptic-owned homes and businesses (AINA 4-26-2011).
Many rights groups criticized the verdict as being "unbelievable" and "extremely harsh" towards the Copts. All the Muslims defendants, "who torched at least 56 Coptic homes, as well as businesses and barns, were acquitted," said Wagdi Halfa, defense attorney of the Coptic victims, in an interview aired yesterday by Coptic TV Channel. He expressed his incomprehension at how Coptic lawyer Alaa Reda Roushdi, who was not even in Abou Qorqas during the events, and then kept under house arrest by the police for another three days, could get life imprisonment.
Adel Roushdi, younger brother of Alaa Roushdi said during the same TV interview that the Islamists wanted to get rid of his brother because of the parliamentary elections, where his brother was sure to win. He accused the police chief in Abou Qorqas of planning the whole episode.
Dr. Naguib Gabriel, president of the Egyptian Union Human Rights Organization, said that one should not keep silent over the continuing harsh verdicts against the Copts. He called upon the military council to stop the implementation of this ruling and to order a re-trial of the case in an ordinary court in another district. He said "where is the conscience and faith of the judge in connection with the torching of Christian homes and shops by Muslims, as reported by the police?" He also questioned the reason for having the case in front of an Emergency State Security court, where no appeal is allowed, while the charges were murder, attempted murder, congregation and carrying of firearms.
Michael Monier, an American-Egyptian activist and head of Life Party, described the verdict as racist and unjust, adding that "it also shows that the Egyptian judiciary takes its orders from higher authorities."
The European Union of Coptic Organizations for Human Rights (EUCOHR) issued a statement yesterday that it will not keep silent about the injustice in this case, and that it is calling for an urgent meeting with members of the European Parliament in Brussels to explain the tragedy of Copts in Egypt . They called upon the governing Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to use its constitutional powers to nullify this verdict and present the defendants to another court, where the rule of law and human rights are honored.
Dozens of Coptic human rights organizations and hundreds of Copts staged a sit-in at midday on May 22 in front of the Cairo High Court, denouncing the court ruling. The protesters raised banners bearing the phrase "by the mercy of God, the Egyptian judiciary is dead" and "This is a Country governed by beards and not the law." They chanted "Down with the military," "Muslims and Christians -- one hand," and demanded the equal application of justice and non-discrimination between Egyptians.
Attorney Karam Gabriel, who was present at the sit-in, said that the deputy attorney general called the Coptic lawyers and they presented their grievances against the Court's ruling, "which is beyond belief." He said that the deputy attorney general promised to have a look at the verdict and could then present a grievance memo to the military commander. Karam also said that the president of the bar association will also send a grievance memorandum, because one of the twelve convicted Christians is Alaa Roushdi, a lawyer."
Pastor Boutros Anba Bola, who was at the sit-in today, explained that this unjust verdict is passed at this point in time before the presidential election by an Islamist judge in order to make the Christians feel low and depressed so as not to participate in the voting, besides penalizing them for not wishing to vote for Islamists. He told Coptic activist Mariam Ragy in an audio interview that although he is not supposed to recommend any candidate, still he recommends General Ahmad Shafik, "as he is the best one for the Copts."
In Alexandria, nearly two thousand Copts and Muslims have staged a protest in front of the high court denouncing the "unjust verdict of the Salafist judiciary, said activist Grace Iskandar from International Echo Organization. He said that their sit-in will remain until a just verdict is achieved. Another protest in scheduled in Alexandria for Saturday May 26.
By Mary Abdelmassih
Ministry of Justice refuses to ratify ruling against Copts
The ratification office of the Justice Ministry has refused to endorse the Minya Court ruling of last May which sentenced 12 Copts to life imprisonment and acquitted eight Muslims on the same charges, in the Minya town of Abu-Qurqas
The ratification office of the Justice Ministry has refused to endorse the Minya Court ruling of last May which sentenced 12 Copts to life imprisonment and acquitted eight Muslims on the same charges, in the Minya town of Abu-Qurqas.
According to Ramy Lutfy, a lawyer of the defendants, the ratification office submitted a memorandum to the President of the Republic that the Minya Court ruling was tainted by error and exaggeration, and the provisions of the law had not been applied. The memorandum demanded that the president should issue a full pardon, order a retrial, or simply disregard the memo.
Since the court ruling of last May was issued by a State security court and was thus not open to appeals, the lawyers of all 12 defendants had sent petitions to the then Military Ruler of Minya to review the ruling.
On Monday 21 May the court of Minya in Upper Egypt had sentenced 12 Copts to life imprisonment for their part in a fight which took place in the town of Abu-Qurqas in April 2011, and which left three Muslims dead, and several Copts’ houses and cattle sheds looted and burnt.
Alaa’ Rushdy, Yacoub Fadl, Abdullah Mikhail Abdullah, Adel Abdullah Mikhail, Fanous Nady Ibrahim, Magdy Nady Ibrahim, Gamal Fouad Hanna, Eid Ibrahim Fanous, Safwat Kamel Habib Ghattas, Eid Abdullah Mikhail, Magdy Abdullah Mikhail, and Saeed Waheed Deif were all sentenced. The court acquitted the eight Muslim men who had been charged in the same case: Ahmed Mustafa Rabie, Taher Atef Taher, Khaled Ibrahim Mohamed, Ahmed Badr Ahmed, Ramadan Abdel-Azim Mohamed, Reda Sayed Ahemd, Ismail Mamdouh Mahmoud, and Ikrami Abdullah Mohamed.
The April 2011 fight in Abu-Qurqas had erupted over a speed bump which the Coptic lawyer, Alaa’ Rushdy, had constructed in front of his house in order to slow down traffic. The defendants, the 12 Copts and eight Muslims, had all been charged with mobbing, premeditated murder, threatening public peace, sectarian sedition, arson, and using unlicensed arms to threaten security and public order.
16 July 2012
Posted 7th July by Maspero Youth Union
III- VIDEO DOCUMENTATION OF THE INCIDENT
Video showing mobs breaking, stealing and torching the homes and private properties of the Christians, in the presence of the police, military police and army, without any intervention
Homes and private properties after being stolen and burned
Video of the 1st session of the trial