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05/20/2020 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – In early January, an Egyptian Muslim man attempted to kill a Coptic Christian woman named Katren with a cutting tool in Cairo. Mamdooh, the name of the attacker, had previously attempted to kill another Coptic woman in 2017 and was given a six-month jail sentence for the crime.

During the investigation and trial for the most recent case, the prosecution discovered that Mamdooh belongs to a terrorist organization. However, the defense claimed the accused was mentally ill, leading to a 45-day stay at a mental hospital for evaluation. On May 5th, the hospital reported Mamdooh as mentally ill and therefore not responsible for his actions. On May 13th, the lawyer representing Katrin appealed against this claim.

Katrin’s lawyer argued against the claim of mental illness on the grounds that Mamdooh was tried and sentenced to jail for the incident in 2017 with no plead of mental instability. Furthermore, Article 49 of Egyptian Law designates the accused as a criminal. This article states that if an individual is imprisoned and then commits another crime within five years of his release, he is a criminal. Her lawyer also states that Mamdooh’s premeditation in bringing the weapon and in attempting an escape prove mental stability, as a mentally ill person could not plan for the crime.

Police commonly dismiss such attacks as cases of mental instability and Egyptian authorities often make alterations to documents, attempting to hide Christian persecution. Christians often express frustration at this bias and the government’s refusal to properly investigate crimes where the victims are Christian and hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected]