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05/03/2022 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – A Muslim man verbally abused and physically assaulted a Coptic Christian woman after she visited the local drugstore during Ramadan without a head covering. On April 21 in Sabak Al-Ahad village, Ashmoun center in Monoufia province, 30-year-old Nevin Sobhi walked into the drugstore to purchase medication for her son, who accompanied her.

The pharmacist, an extremist Muslim named Ali Abu-Soaud, angrily asked her, “why did you wear this clothing and show your hair off?” and slapped her face. She replied to him, “I wear ordinary clothes, and it’s not your business!” Abu Soaud then slapped the Christian woman again. Though evident that she was a Christian and therefore not obligated to observe Ramadan’s rules, he slapped her.

The same day, Sobhi went to the police station to file a report and stayed there from 9 PM until 3 AM. She mentioned that “the police officers falsified the quotes of her husband and mother.” Sobhi referenced her experience at the police station as a third slap. According to Coptic Solidarity, Sobhi said, “Inside the police station, I was surprised by attempts and pressure to conciliate. The perpetrator’s lawyer steered the writing of the report [in a manner] that contradicted reality, and they forced me to sign the report, which contained statements from the pharmacist’s lawyer, without taking my statements. (..)  We were especially shocked to see the report saying that “the pharmacist is a friend of the family, who was just bantering and joking around with Mrs. Nevin, because he is close to the family.”

A few days later, a reconciliation session was held between the victim and the oppressor, which was managed and supported by the priest, the Mayor of the village, and prestigious individuals of the village. Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights researcher Ishak Ibrahim, stated that “the state institutions oppressed Nevin Sobhi twice. Once because of the lack of attention to the report that she filed, which mentioned facts contrary to the truth for supporting the aggressor get away with his crime, and again by participating and accepting customary reconciliation that was often under social pressure.”

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