ICC Note: A committee formed by Egypt’s interim government is getting ready to release a report on the violence that followed the removal of President Mohammed Morsi from office in July 2013. This sparked a wave of violence, much of it targeted at Christian communities throughout Upper Egypt. This report aims to shed light both on what happened and those who incited and coordinated the attacks.
11/20/2014 Egypt (Ahram) Omar Marawan, spokesman of the committee formed by interim president Adli Mansour to investigate the violence that followed Mohamed Morsi’s ouster, says a final meeting is due to be held today.
Marawan told parliamentary reporters on Monday that the committee had expected to meet for the last time on 16 November but “decided to extend its work to 20 November after “foreign agencies contacted us and offered to provide new information about the disruption of the two Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins in Rabaa Al-Adawiya in Cairo and Al-Nahda Square in Giza in August last year”.
According to Marawan today’s meeting will decide whether this new information is valuable.
“Our experts are reviewing the information so that the committee can take a decision during the final meeting on Thursday,” said Marawan. “Once a decision is made we can set a date for the publication of the committee’s report which will probably be announced in a press conference next week.”
Mohamed Fayek, chairman of the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), told Al-Ahram that “the Council provided the post-Morsi fact-finding committee with a lot of accurate information about the dispersals and the attacks against Christians in Upper Egypt and elsewhere”.
The report takes Islamists to task for their attacks on Christians in the immediate aftermath, says the committee source. It also accuses them of murdering tens of police and army personnel in North Sinai and other Egyptian governorates.
“The post-dispersal attacks against Egyptian Christians and their places of worship were part of a systematic and well-organised campaign that was orchestrated by Islamists,” he says. “These Islamists were members of the Muslim Brotherhood, helped by leaders of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, particularly in Upper Egyptian governorates.”
“Previous attacks against Christians in Egypt had been scattered and mounted on an individual basis. The ones which immediately followed the dispersals were clearly prompted on sectarian grounds and orchestrated across 17 governorates.”
Fayek says information provided by the NCHR to the fact-finding committee clearly showed the wave of anti-Christian attacks that followed the dispersals aimed to destroy and plunder churches and monasteries and raze the houses and other properties — grocery shops, bookstores, jewelry shops, orphanages, self-help societies and cars — of Christians.”
Useful information was provided by NCHR, says the source, “yet more was provided by priests and bishops who were serving in churches and monasteries in Upper Egypt in the summer of 2013”.
Even so “a number of Christians refused to testify before the committee out of fear they would face revenge attacks from Islamist militants”.
The report documents several speeches from Brotherhood figures that incited violence against Christians.