Egypt court sends two Copts to jail on Maspero charges

Ahram Online, Monday 4 Feb 2013

The men were convicted of stealing a machine gun from the armed forces on the night when a peaceful march ended in bloodshed in October 2011

The bodies of Coptic protesters at a hospital morgue after they were massacred by the Egyptian army on the Coptic Bloody Sunday on 9 October 2011 (Photo:AP)

Two men charged in connection with the violence at the Maspero state media building on 9 October 2011 have been given prison sentences by an Egyptian criminal court.

The court sentenced Michael Farag and Michael Shaker to three years in prison on charges of stealing a machine gun from the armed forces during Maspero clashes, when twenty eight people were killed.

The clashes occurred when a peaceful march against the demolition of a church in Aswan was attacked by the army in the vicinity of the Maspero state television and radio building. Video footage filmed at Maspero shows military forces running over several protesters with armoured vehicles.

Around 30 civilians – including three minors – were arrested on 9 October and referred to military courts accused of inciting sectarian violence related to the events. On 10 October, they were formally charged with destruction of military property, assaults against military personnel, and intent to vandalise private property.

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