- January 5, 2011
- 2 minutes read
Protesters Referred to Trial for Allegedly Inciting Sedition
Eight Muslim activists protesting in solidarity with Christian Copts have been charged with illegal rallying, rioting, damaging public property, and assailing police officers on duty, by Egypt’s public prosecutor.
The eight took part in a huge protest which took place in the largely Coptic district of Shubra, protesting the death of the 23 victims who were killed in the suicide bombing that targeted an Alexandria church on New Year’s Eve; where close to 100 victims, both Muslims and Christians, were also injured.
The prosecutors, who have been questioned since Tuesday, denied the charges levelled against them, asserting that they were arrested for nothing more than their expression of solidarity with Egyptian Copts. They had also called for the dismissal of Alexandria’s chief of security directorate, stating their views on the issue of a unified law on places of worship which led to their detention.
Human rights groups denounced the action by security, arguing that it is unheard of that suspects in any crime are referred to trial only days after their arrest, accusing the government of attempting to intimidate protesters of the Church attacks. Contrary to the protestors defence, government officials allege that the group led demonstrations with the intent to harm others and to use force and violence to incite fear.