AFRICA/EGYPT - The case of the old Copt woman from Karm, beaten and stripped naked by fanatical Islamists, suspended for "lack of evidence"

Monday, 16 January 2017 sectaniarism   violence   oriental churches   islam

Minya (Agenzia Fides) - Prosecutors in Egypt's central governorate of Minya have suspended investigations into an assault on a 70-year-old Coptic Christian woman, Suan Thabet, who was stripped naked and paraded in the streets by a Muslim mob last May. The woman's lawyer - refer Egyptian sources consulted by Agenzia Fides - announced that on Saturday, January 14 the prosecutors cited "lack of sufficient evidence". The old woman, interviewed by a US-based Christian TV station said that she and her family are unable to return home to this day because of threats by Muslim extremists in the village.
The explosion of sectarian violence in Karm, which took place a few days after the meeting in Rome between Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Ahmed al-Tayyib, had drawn the attention of public debate in Egypt, especially for the violence and humiliations perpetrated against the elderly lady. The armed Muslim mob that assaulted the 70-year-old woman also looted and torched seven Christian houses belonging to Copt Christians.
The attack on the woman followed a rumour that her son, an Egyptian Copt, had an affair with a Muslim woman. Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II had issued a statement, which raised the possibility that the facts in al Karm could be used to trigger a new spiral of sectarian clashes. The same President Abdel Fattah al Sisi had appealed to the competent government departments so that those responsible for the violence in Karm were promptly identified and punished. In the weeks that followed the attack, at least 8 people were arrested among 14 suspects of having taken part in sectarian violence. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 16/01/2016)