AFRICA/EGYPT - The government prohibits Coptic demonstrations on the anniversary of "massacre of Maspero"

Thursday, 6 October 2016 area crisis   oriental churches

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - The Egyptian Ministry of Internal Affairs denied the associations of young Copts permission to organize a demonstration on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the massacre known as the "massacre of Maspero". Permission to demonstrate - reported the official sources of the Ministry – was not granted for "security reasons". The massacre of Maspero took place on October 9, 2011, during the transition period that followed the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, when the Egyptian government was in the hands of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. On that day the army, deployed in the vicinity of the building that houses the State television, opened fire on groups of protesters, mostly Copts, leaving behind 27 dead. The demonstrators had gathered to protest against the demolition of a church which took place in Upper Egypt.
Maspero Youth Union activists issued a statement, sent to Agenzia Fides, denouncing they had received even threats by the security forces, after their request to demonstrate had been rejected. The provisions - very restrictive - that in Egypt regulate the request and authorization to carry out public demonstrations came into force in November 2013, a phase of the Egyptian civil life characterized by high social tension, after the deposition of President Mohamed Morsi, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood who had democratically won the presidential election in June 2012. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 06/10/2016)

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