Protest at Libya’s embassy in Cairo over death of Copt in Benghazi

Ahram Online- 11/3/13

Coptic group calls for protest by Libyan embassy Cairo demanding release of detained Christians.

The Coptic Youth Front has called for a protest on Monday in front of the Libyan embassy in Cairo protesting the death of Ezzat Hakim, an Egyptian Copt declared dead after allegedly being tortured by security in a prison in Benghazi.

Hakim was one of a hundred Egyptian Copts arrested last February after a group of Salafist Muslims raided a church in Benghazi accusing them of allegedly spreading Christianity in Libya.

In an interview with Al-Ahram Arabic news website on Sunday, Hakim’s brother said that he had been detained and tortured for almost a month; no one had helped him, including the Coptic Orthdox Church.

The front calling for the protest also said that the detainees were severely tortured, adding that they hold the ministry of foreign affairs responsible for the torture and death of Hakim.

They went on to assert that they will continue protesting by the Libyan embassy until their demands are met; the full release of all the kidnapped, compensation to those who have been humiliated, and an official apology from Libya to Egypt’s Copts.

The arrests are the latest in a series of recent incidents targeting Christians in Libya.

In December, two Egyptian Christians were killed and two injured when suspected Islamists threw a homemade bomb at a Coptic Orthodox church in western Libya.