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ICC Note: A leading human rights organization has reported extensively on the calamity that has befallen Coptic Christians in Egypt, targeted for the last 10 days by radical Islamic extremists angered over the ousting of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi. Tragically police have stood idly by while churches, some hundreds of years old, were burned to the ground. 
8/23/2013 Egypt (Christian Post) – A new report from Human Rights Watch has revealed the extremity of the bloodshed against Egypt’s Coptic Christians. Since Aug. 14, 37 churches have been either destroyed or badly damaged, and at least five others were attacked, leaving at least four people dead. In addition, scores of Christian businesses and schools have been looted, vandalized and torched.
But the egregiousness nature of these actions is only matched by the lack of response by Egyptian authorities themselves, said Joe Stork, the acting Human Rights Watch Middle East Director.
“For weeks, everyone could see these attacks coming, with Muslim Brotherhood members accusing Coptic Christians of a role in Mohammad Morsy’s ouster, but the authorities did little or nothing to prevent them. Now dozens of churches are smoldering ruins, and Christians throughout the country are hiding in their homes, afraid for their very lives,” said Joe Stork in a statement.
Tamara Alrifai, the Human Rights Watch Advocacy and Communications director for the Middle East and North Africa Division, explained that before last week’s confrontation between the military and pro-Morsi supporters, there were signs that the Copts would be targeted.
“Over the past few weeks there has been an incitement discourse against Christians from political leadership and there have not been enough measures taken by police and security,” Alfirai told The Christian Post. “The attacks seemed inevitable. The government is responsible for protecting its own population when the signs are clear.”
In some instances, the threats that the Copts’ aggressors utilized were blatant; in the city of Minya, residents told Human Rights Watch that Coptic-owned storefronts had been marked with a black “X” and they were subsequently targeted for attack.
Indeed, Human Rights Watch asserted that “in the vast majority of the 42 cases [we] documented, neither the police nor the military were present at the start or during the attack,” suggesting that the passivity of the security forces served to embolden and encourage acts of terror.

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