Egyptian Court Gives Life Sentences to 12 Christians

Religion Today

Egypt's State Security Court sentenced 12 Christians to life in prison Monday while acquitting eight Muslims for their roles in an April 2011 fight in Minya that killed two Muslims and destroyed Christian homes and businesses, CBN News reports. The Christians were found guilty of possessing illegal weapons, sowing public discord and shooting two Muslims to death, while the Muslims were freed of charges of possessing illegal weapons and burning down Christian homes and businesses. "The fact that the Muslims were acquitted means that the attorney general's investigation from the beginning was faulty and unfair because there was evidence to prove these men had burned Christian property," said human rights researcher Ishak Ibrahim. The violence began when a Muslim minibus driver, angered by a speed bump in front of a Christian-owned villa, got into a fight with security guards, then rounded up a mob to protest the beating he received. Christians, fearing for their safety, fired from their rooftops at the mob, killing two Muslims and wounding two others. The convicted men have no recourse for appeal from the State Security Court outside of the military ruling council, which has done little to protect Christians from Islamist attacks since Egypt's January 2011 revolution.