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04/11/2019 Egypt (International Christian Concern) –  On Tuesday March 4, the Criminal Court of Minya sentenced a police officer who shot and killed a Coptic Christian and his son to death. The incident occurred in late December in front of Nahdet Al-Qadash Church in Minya City, where the killer was stationed as a security guard.

Read the full report from ICC here:

Attorney-General, Nabil Sadiq, originally referred the murderous offender to the emergency court, which issued its verdict of execution. According to a legal source, The Egyptian Fatwa House supported this previous court rulings, and issued the criminal a death sentence. Within the first 60 days of the verdict, the judgement can be appealed.

According to an ICC source, it is extraordinarily rare for Egyptian courts to issue a fair sentence for Christian victims. The judicial sentence was equitable for the victims and their family. However, the crime was carefully monitored by the church security cameras, so it was illogical for the court to issue an unfair judicial sentence. The video of the crime was widely published through social media, which sparked anger among the public toward the unjust Egyptian security forces. The court issued an execution sentence for the officer, though Egyptian police officers are lawfully required to secure and protect Christians entering a house of worship.

In a similar case, 18 extremists tried to bomb the Church of St. Mark in Alexandria in the spring of 2017. The Egyptian Court sentenced the terrorists to life in prison. These sentences are rare victories for Christians in the judicial system, as they are continuously victimized and persecuted for their faith. In the case of Abd Adel Bebaoui, the judge sentenced the Christian to three years in prison because he allegedly insulted Islam online. Judgements are typically dependent upon a judge and their personal convictions, rather than law.

Most judges’ knowledge of human rights abuses has failed to prevent, halt, or investigate Christian persecution. However, it is encouraging to see the Egyptian judicial system rule on the merits of the case, rather than simply exploiting the system as a means of persecuting religious minorities, as is regularly the case.

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