Release ordered for 70 Copts held in Giza Rots


Attorney General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud has ordered the release of 70 Coptic Christians who were detained along with dozens of others in violent protests following a ban on the construction of a church in Omraneyah, Giza.

The clashes, which erupted on 24 November between security personnel and Coptic protesters, left two Copts killed and scores more injured.

According to a statement issued by the attorney general’s office, the decision to discharge the protesters has been made for health and education-related reasons.
Abdel Meguid received an appeal from the detainees, who asked to be released to receive medical assistance and continue their education.

Coptic Pope Shenouda III said last week that the Coptic Church would pursue the case of the two Copts who died in the clashes with the police.

In his weekly sermon on Wednesday, the pope said, “We will do our utmost in this case and will request compensation for the death of those killed. […] Their blood is not cheap.”

The Omraneyah incident has caused increased tensions between Copts and the state.

In addition, the Coptic Church complains that the ruling National Democratic Party did not field Coptic candidates in the recently concluded parliamentary elections.