04/16/2020 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – After Egyptian security forces killed seven suspected militants in Cairo on Tuesday, the Ministry of Interior also shared that the suspected terrorist cell was plotting to attack the country’s Christians this upcoming Easter weekend. April 19th is the date that many Orthodox Christians, including Egypt’s Coptic Christians, celebrate Easter.
While the authorities said that they have found ammunition, weapons, and explosives, it is not clear how they determined that an attack on Coptic Christians during Orthodox Easter was forthcoming by this particular group of suspected militants. Any attempt at violence which is foiled is indeed praiseworthy, yet it is important to remember the context.
Egypt has routinely been accused by multiple human rights groups of using charges of terrorism to cover up dissidence. They’ve also been condemned for killing everyone during counter-terrorism raids, making it impossible to conduct due process of law and a thorough investigation. The government has also used attacks against Christians, particularly during the Easter period, to seize increases of power at the expense of civil rights. Because of COVID-19, churches are not hosting Easter celebrations this year. For this combination of reasons, it is important that Egypt clarifies with full transparency the details of the foiled Easter attack against Christians.
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