EOHR: The Bombings of Al-Qidiseen Church in Alexandria is a “Crime” And Demands the Speedy Arrest of the Offenders

January 1st, 2011 by Editor

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) expresses its condemnation of the terrorist bombing which targeted the AlQidiseen (Saints) Church in Sidi Bishr area of Alexandria describing it as a “crime” condemned by the concerned international human rights conventions and by all religions.

EOHR stresses the necessity of the speedy arrest of the offenders and the importance of making sure that they would not escape the punishment. EOHR emphasizes the necessity of abiding by human rights standards including the right to fair trial.

With the first minutes of the first hour of the first day of the New Year, 2011, Alexandria has witnessed the explosion of a wired car outside of the Al-Qidiseen Church in Sidi Bishr area which follows the Muntazah police station. Conflicting news were reported about the number of the victims of this terrorist incident; initial estimates pointed to 7 deaths and 24 injuries, 8 of which were Muslims, while this morning, the Ministry of Health has reported that the victims included 21 deaths and 43 injured in addition to 3 members of the Church’s security staff including one officer.

Mr. Hafez Abu Saeda, the chairman of EOHR, has emphasized that these bombings represent a crime of “black terrorism” which aims at terrorizing the citizens and deepening the sectarian tension all over the country to create a state of religious conflict between Muslims and Christians. He also stressed that these bombings aim at damaging the national unity which requires vigilance from both Muslim and Christian citizens to not fall for this, and not to allow terrorism to achieve its goals. They can only do this through solidarity, and through upholding the value of citizenship over religious affiliations, and deepening the value of tolerance.

Abu Saeda has demanded that the security apparatus would pursuit those who commit those terrorist actions and to bring them to justice. He emphasized the importance of taking the necessary measures to ensure the protection of the lives of innocent people whether they were Muslims or Christians and to particularly ensure the protection of churches and places of worship all over the country.

The chairman of EOHR has also stressed the importance of spreading the spirit of tolerance between the members of the society whether they were Muslims or Christians by the government, civil society organizations and media and religious institutions. In addition to that, civil society organizations should launch programs which would instill the values and principles of human rights. It is important that Muslim and Christian clerics must renew the religious speech to spread the culture of tolerance between all citizens and to reject the fanatical speech, and it is also important for each party to respect the religion of the other.

Within that context, Abu Saeda has stressed the necessity of the government’s enhancement of political and democratic participation, the rule of law for all Egyptians, strengthening the civil state through improving the academic curricula and spreading the culture of difference, tolerance and accepting the other. Also, there should be special enlightening media programs about the culture of human rights. In addition to that, the crime of “inciting hatred” should be included more tightly in the Egyptian legal system in a way that does not detract from the freedom of expression as protected under international conventions.  




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