Amnesty International: Egypt security forces failed to protect Coptics

July 23, 2013 at 5:26 PM   |   Comments

LUXOR, Egypt, July 23 (UPI) -- Egyptian security forces did little to protect Coptic Christians during an attack in Luxor that left four men dead, Amnesty International said Tuesday.

More than 100 homes were attacked July 5 after the body of a Muslim man was found in a Christian neighborhood, and his family blamed Coptics, the group said. Six men were left to the mercy of a mob that killed four of them and injured another so severely he had to be hospitalized.

"The attack went on for 18 hours, and there was not a door on which I did not knock: police, army, local leaders, the Central Security Forces, the governorate," said a Coptic priest identified as Father Barsilious. "Nothing was done."

Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa program, called the security forces' actions or lack of them "outrageous."

"Amnesty International has documented a series of cases in the past where Egypt's security forces used unnecessary force or live fire during demonstrations, yet in this case they held back even though people's lives were threatened," Sahraoui said. "A thorough, impartial and independent investigation must be conducted into the events in Luxor and the grossly inadequate response of the security forces to the attack."

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