Copts divided over making Maspero violence an international issue

Members of the Coptic-led Maspero Youth Union are divided over internationalizing awareness of the violence that broke out outside the state TV building, known as Maspero, on 9 October and claimed the lives of 27, mostly Copts.

Video footage of the events show armored personnel carriers running over protesters, but the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) claimed the erratic driving was a result of demonstrators setting fire to army vehicles.

Maspero Youth Union Coordinator Ramy Kamel supports internationalizing the case, and rejected Pope Shenouda’s request not to.

Hany Eissa and Andraws Eweida, also members of the union, slammed Kamel’s statements and supported the Pope’s opinion.

The that because the Maspero violence is still being investigated the issue should not be made an international one. The Copts' peaceful struggle remains inside Egypt, they continued, and will occur through its institutions and government.

But Kamel told Al-Masry Al-Youm that bringing the case to the rest of the world is the only way for Copts to achieve justice, particularly considering the conflict of interest involved in the military prosecution investigating the military police.

"The pope refused to internationalize the case because the culprit has not been revealed, but we know the culprit,” Kamel said, implying the SCAF was responsible for the deaths. “Egypt is part of the international community and is bound by agreements to respect human rights covenants. Thus we have the right to request an international body investigate the events.”

The military prosecution is currently investigating the Maspero violence amid demands to create an independent investigation body.

Twenty-one human rights organizations have accused Egyptian state TV of inciting violence against Coptic protestors, citing a presenter who called upon citizens to take to the streets to protect the army “against assaults from Coptic demonstrators” on the night of the incident.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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