Coptic activist returns to Egypt for Maspero investigation

Coptic activist Michael Mounir

Coptic activist Michael Mounir

Manar Ammar

CAIRO: Leading Coptic Christian activist Michael Mounir arrived back in Egypt on Friday after the prosecutor issued an investigation order for him and his name was put on a no travel list.

Mounir, who was attending the Copts Abroad’s fourth convention in The Netherlands, said he cut his trip short and came home after he read the news that he is wanted for investigation. Prosecutors are investigating into the Maspero massacre that left 27 dead and hundreds injured last October 9.

Thousands of Copts, who were protesting the burning of a church in Aswan, marched from the residential district of Shubra to the State TV building where they were greeted with violence from the military guarding the building.

The military said the protesters “attacked” them first and the soldiers were unarmed. Footage from that night showed police and military using excessive force towards the protesters including video showing military armored vehicles running over people.

Mounir is accused of having a “hand in inciting” the crowd against the armed forces, a claim he has denied completely. He said these accusation aim to “silence Copts” and are untrue.

Mounir is the head of al-Hayat political party and a known Coptic activist linked to infamous Coptic organizations abroad. These organizations have a not so positive name inside Egypt for their previous calls to put Egypt under “international protection” for the way Copts are prosecuted.