October 7th, 2012 by Editor
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) renews its condolences to Masbero violence incident victims’ families. EOHR also renews its calls for taking the massacre perpetrators to accountability and providing the victims’ families and the public with enough information on the investigation results.
On October 13, 2011, EOHR issued the qualitative report on Masbero violence incident under the name of “Who is responsible for Masbero violence incident?” Within this report, EOHR called for an independent fact finding committee to conduct wide range investigations on the violence incident. Whatever happened, this violence incident does not reflect the status of relationships between Muslims and Christians in Egypt. For years, many trials were made to divide the Egyptian people between Muslims and Christians, but in vain.
EOHR sent a fact finding committee to Abdel Moniem Riad Square, Masbero, Coptic Hospital and Abbasia Cathedral, in order to observe and document what happened during the violence incident. The committee documented the incident details, reasons and all the points of view related to the incident. The report included testimonies of eyewitnesses of different attitudes. The Copts who participated in the protest stated that the peaceful protest rally walked from Shobra to Masbero, in front of the Egyptian Radio and Television Union’s Building, when the rally crossed Ahmed Helmy Tunnel, some thugs emerged and went on clashes with stones until Masbero Area, where the rally was ill-treated by police and military troops and the protesters used stones to answer back. Following the death of two soldiers, the military police used gunfire and armored vehicles to end the rally. The protesterers by their turn destroyed and burned private and military cars and facades of shops. The police troops with some citizens pursued the protesters until they reached Abdel Moniem Riad Square and finally controlled Tahrir and Masbero areas and scattered the protest that left scores of casualties.
The Supreme Council for Armed Forces stated that the military troops committed self control and did not use guns against the Egyptian citizens; the troops in Masbero Area are not armed. If the army used the weapons against the protesters, it would be a real disaster. The army has got many casualties, but the number is not announced for protecting the spirit of the army soldiers.
According to the report, the Egyptian government was basically responsible for the incident; it did not open any channels with the Egyptian groups to explore their complaints and demands and find suitable solutions for their problems. Aswan governor did not take any steps to find solutions to the Marinab Building problem and that leaded to the building demolishing crises that also leaded to the violence incident in Masbero.
By the end of the report, EOHR called for adopting an immediate strategy, by the Egyptian government, as following:
1- Forming an independent fact finding committee to observe and document the incident
2- Drafting a new law for demonstration, guarantees citizens’ right of peaceful assembly
3- Approving the unified law for worshiping houses that has been submitted by the National Council for Human Rights
4- Restoration of the religious discourse in order to tackle tolerance between both the Muslims and Christians
5- The civil society organizations must launch workshops and conferences for spreading the culture of tolerance.
6- The Journalist Syndicate should add a new clause to the journalist constitution to criminalize Contempt against religions.
7- Issuing a new law for discrimination on religious or racial basis
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