Maspero defendants remain in detention for 15 more days

Ahram Online, Monday 2 Jul 2012

The detention of defendants in the Maspero trial has been renewed for a further 15 days, as investigations into one of the bloodiest days in the past year of revolution continues

An injured Egyptian Coptic demonstrator is evacuated by fellow protesters during cashes with Egyptian army soldiers, unseen, following a Copts demonstration in Cairo 9 October 2011. (Photo: AP)

Twenty-nine defendants in the bloody events at Maspero in October of last year, are to remain in detention for 15 more days pending further investigations.

Michael Naguib and Mosaad Shaker face charges of confiscating an automatic gun belonging to the military during the violence at Maspero that left around 27 civilians and one military officer killed. The two accused are now being interrogated by Cairo Criminal Court.

On 9 October 2011, 27 protesters, mostly Coptic Christians, were killed when a peaceful protest march was attacked by unknown assailants. Video footage filmed by eye witnesses show military forces running over several with armoured vehicles.

The same evening, around 30 civilians – including three minors – were arrested and referred to military courts accused of inciting sectarian violence. On 10 October, they were formally charged with destruction of military property, assaults against military personnel, and intent to vandalise private property.

Some observers charged that state television broadcasting of the clashes took on an increasingly sectarian tone, as some anchors announced to live audiences that "Christians were attacking the armed forces."

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