For the first time since 1978, Frank Wolf’s name will not appear on the November ballot in Virginia’s Tenth Congressional District. The republic will be the poorer for that.
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark, accompanied by a papal delegation, was received by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia at the Russian Patriarchate on 29 October 2014.
The visit, that included a formal meeting of delegations, followed by lunch, marks 26 years since the most recent visit of the last Pope of Alexandria, His Holiness, the late Pope Shenouda III.
A glimpse of the anxiety sweeping the Arab world surfaced last week when an Arab woman complained during a talk in Amman at the Columbia Global Center for the Middle East. She said my speech’s title about the “crisis” in the region wasn’t accurate. The correct word was “disintegration.” The audience cheered loudly.
In preparation for Egypt’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) before the UN, scheduled for November 5, the Forum of Independent Egyptian Human Rights Organizations (the Forum), comprised of 19 organizations, published a joint report on the status of human rights in Egypt over the past four years. The report was sent to the UN Human Rights Council in March, the deadline for the submission of governmental and independent reports to be discussed during the UPR. As per the council’s procedures, the reports are subjected to UN review and assessment prior to release and publication in the run-up to the UPR. Reviews are conducted to record the human rights status of member states every four years.
Egyptian Military Attacks and Kills Peaceful Coptic Demonstrators
Coptic Solidarity strongly and unequivocally condemns the Egyptian army’s unprovoked attack and massacre of unarmed Copts that occurred on Sunday, October 09, 2011—an attack which reflects the deeply disturbing actions by Egypt’s military rulers to prevent the establishment of a free and democratic Egypt, and to avoid its duty to protect Egyptians, including the Coptic Christians.
The demonstration itself, in which Copts and other Egyptians participated, was a direct result of repeated attacks over the past months, especially the recent destruction of yet another church in Edfu, in which Copts were repeatedly attacked by Islamists without any perpetrator being brought to justice, a pattern that suggests complicity by the ruling Junta.
The unwarranted use of force by the military included opening live fire on demonstrators and even chasing after and intentionally running over Copts with armored vehicles and tanks (military equipment that was most likely provided by the U.S. military aid). Authorities put the death toll of protesters at 25, though other sources offer significantly higher numbers. The wounded are reportedly in the hundreds. Scores of Copts have been randomly arrested.
Dr Emad Gad, a senior political analyst at the Al-Ahram Center for Strategic Studies, and an eyewitness of the events, said on El-Nile government TV station that the peaceful demonstrators were attacked by unprovoked military in such a way that amounts to “war crime” and “crime against humanity” putting the responsibility squarely on Tantawi’s shoulders. He was quickly shut up by the anchor.
Dr Mohamed Mounir Megahed, a well respected activist and participant in the demonstration, attested that it was, similar to previous demonstrations, very peaceful with no sign that demonstrators had the means or intention to use violence.
Nawara Nigm, a Muslim activist and a first hand witness, confirmed that the demonstration which included many women was peaceful, and that security forces shot live ammunition on unarmed people. She saw a soldier beating a young man after seeing that his arm was tattooed with a cross.
The Alliance of Revolutionary Youth accused the SCAF and the government of utter failure in handling the situation and the state-run TV of inciting sedition between the country’s communities.
During the events, military officials shut down two independent media, including US-funded Alhurra TV, apparently to prevent them from providing live coverage of the protests.
Such brutality comes days after nearly 20 members of the army’s military police were clandestinely videotaped beating, dragging, and kicking a Coptic protester—all while shouting anti-Christian slogans, such as “You infidel son of a bitch.”
Coptic Solidarity demands that, in the same way Mubarak is being tried for his responsibility in ordering attacks against civilians before his ouster, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, chief of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and Lt. General Hamdy Badeen, commander of the Military Police, be investigated to determine their responsibility for committing crimes against humanity and against the Egyptian people.
Coptic Solidarity strongly urges that the international community, through the United Nations, lead an independent international investigation in the attack similar to what the UN ordered after an Israeli attack on Gaza.
Coptic Solidarity (www.copticsolidarity.org)
P.O. Box 1450 Centreville, VA 20122, USA
21 bis rue du Simplon 75018 Paris, France
For further information:
USA: Halim Meawad (1-240-644-5153), Caroline Doss (201-418-9090)
Magdi Khalil (1-202-725-3091)
Canada: Maher Rizkalla (1-905-399-4147)
Europe Adel Guindy (+33-1-4701-2600), Helmy Guirguis (+44-7775-800-929),
Sobhy Gress (+33-6-3129-4779)
Australia Ayad Grace (+61-2-9899-5740)
Coptic Solidarity 2014 Conference
The Annual Conference was held in Washington, D.C. on June 26-28, 2014.