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Rights groups call for end to incitement against Christians - Daily News Egypt

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Rights groups call for end to incitement against Christians

Human rights groups criticise state for failing to protect citizens from violence

Funeral of North Sinai Priest, Father Mina on 7 July 2013  (Photo by Mohamed El Dereiny/DNE)
Funeral of North Sinai Priest, Father Mina on 7 July 2013 (Photo by Mohamed El Dereiny/DNE)

Human rights organisations  called for Islamist groups to  stop inciting violence against Christians, holding the state responsible for their protection

Sixteen different organisations signed the statement released on Wednesday and expressed “their grave concern regarding the increasing sectarian violence which has targeted Christians and their churches.”

The signatories which include the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and Arab Network for Human Rights Information, condemned “rhetoric employed by leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and their allies which includes clear incitement to violence and religious hatred in order to achieve political gains.”

The groups also criticised the government for “the continued negligence of the institutions of the state to provide the necessary protection to Christian citizens.” They pointed out that the state has neglected “to decisively confront sectarian attacks, and to enforce the law by holding those responsible to account.” They described this as being part of the “pattern of impunity” that continued throughout the reign of former President Hosni Mubarak and “throughout the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The signatories cited reports of violence from northern Sinai, claiming that they “reveal that the military and police continue to be incapable of providing sufficient protection to civilians – both Muslims and Christians.” They also cite incidents of sectarian violence against Christians in Minya governorate and Asyut, claiming that the state security apparatus has not done enough to combat the violence.

The groups called for “impartial investigations to be carried out” into  acts of violence and for the findings of the investigations to be made public. They also called for an independent investigation “to determine what led to inadequate protection being provided to Christians.”

The Egyptian Social Democratic Party expressed similar concerns on Tuesday. At the beginning of July a Coptic Orthodox priest was killed in the Sinai.

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