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48 to face trial for Egypt sectarian violence

The 48 arrested in Muslim-Christian clashes on 7 May in Imbaba have been formally referred to trial

AFP, Saturday 4 Jun 2011
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Egypt's public prosecutor on Saturday referred 48 people to trial for their involvement in deadly Muslim-Christian clashes last month.

The 48 accused were referred to Cairo's supreme state security court for "premeditated murder, endangering public security, inciting sectarian tension, burning a church and possessing weapons with the intent to carry out acts of terrorism," the prosecutor's office said.

Fierce clashes broke out on 7 May between Christians and Muslims in northwest Cairo's working-class district of Imbaba where 12 people were killed, scores injured and a church set ablaze, according to court figures.

The National Council for Human Rights, however, put the death toll at 15.

Of the 48 accused, 22 are in preventative detention and the search continues for the remaining 26, the prosecutor said.

Egypt has been gripped by chronic insecurity and sectarian strife. 

Coptic Christians, who account for up to 10 per cent of Egypt's 80-million people, complain of discrimination and have been the targets of sectarian attacks.

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MI
05-06-2011 01:06pm
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Balance and Restraint
The Copts, and I am proud to be of that origin, must have the dignity and discipline to avoid plunging the country into sectarianism. I remind you, that even in the United States, only 40 short years ago, blacks were made to sit at the back of the bus, were beaten and degraded. Today, the world salutes a black president. We Copts must insist on our rights, with passion and conviction, but we must also be patient and positive. We must take Mandela's lessons of forgiveness and progress. Those who govern us must be humbled by the story of the unstoppable course of the search for human progress. If you do not insist on equality and opportunity, you degrade all Egyptians and you lay the foundations of hate and bigotry for the future which will only damage the country. On our part, our task is to fight for each other, but to do so with great respect for the dignity our civilisation demands.
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Sherif
05-06-2011 03:07am
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How many were victims.
Of course, missing from this report is how may of those arrested are Coptic victims and how many were Salafist aggressors. History would predict that most of those arrested would be Coptic victims! Where are the stats?
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