Egypt security forces ignored slaying of Coptic Christians, human rights group says

( A report by the human rights group Amnesty International blames Egyptian security forces for standing by idly and failing to intervene during an 18-hour-long attack on Coptic Christians on July 5 that left four dead and one man hospitalized.

“It is outrageous that this attack was left to escalate unhindered in this way. Amnesty International has documented a series of cases in the past where Egypt’s security forces used unnecessary force or live fire during demonstrations, yet in this case they held back even though people’s lives were threatened,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

According to the Amnesty International report, the attack began around 3 a.m. on July 5 after a body of a Muslim man was found near Christian homes. The family of the dead Muslim man blamed local Christians for his death, and by mid-day more than 100 Christian homes had been attacked by an angry mob armed with metal bars, knives, tree branches and hammers in a small town 18 kilometers west of Luxor.

“The attack went on for 18 hours, and there was not a door on which I did not knock: police, army, local leaders, the Central Security Forces, the Governorate. Nothing was done,” said Father Barsilious, a local Egyptian priest, according to Amnesty International.

Posted on July 23, 2013 .