Cairo (AINA) — In an effort to cover up the Muslim mob violence against the Copts which broke out last week in the town of Farshoot and neighboring villages (AINA 11-22-2009, 11-23-2009), and in view of the complete news blackout imposed by the Egyptian government, Egyptian State Security has intensified its pressure on the Coptic Church in Nag Hammadi and the victims of the violence into accepting extrajudicial reconciliation with the perpetrators, and opening their businesses without any compensation. Similar State Security scenarios have been experienced by Copts in all sectarian incidents in the past, in which they always come out as losers, having been forced to give up civil and criminal charges, while the criminals get away scot-free.
“There will be no reconciliation before full financial compensation has been paid to the Coptic victims, and the criminals are brought to justice, so that safety and security can be restored to the district,” said Bishop Kirollos of the Nag Hammadi Diocese.
Free Copts reported that Bishop Kirollos has sent his grievance to President Mubarak, the Prime Minister , the People’s Assembly and the Shura Council, asking for speedy financial compensation to the Coptic victims.
In solidarity with the affected businessmen, the remaining Farshoot Coptic merchants have closed their shops in protest.
It has been reported that orders were given to the police in Farshoot by Qena State Security not to issue police reports to the victims; instead, they have to travel 60 KM away to make their reports with the Attorney General in Qena. The authorities have not yet carried out estimates of the losses in spite of several demands made by the Church.
It is estimated that 10 pharmacies and 55 shops and businesses in Farshoot, Abu Shousha, Kom Ahmar and el-Aaraky were looted, vandalized and torched, with total losses exceeding 5 million Egyptian Pounds (1 million USD).
State Security has been putting pressure on the Church to convince the victims to open their stores, “despite the fact that they were told that the victims have no money to clean up and decorate their shops after being looted, vandalized and torched by Muslims, nor the money to buy stock,” Bishop Kirollos told activist Wagih Yacoub of the Middle East Christian Association (MECA). “Having failed to make me bend to their pressure, State Security has tried putting pressure on the victims, but without success. I told them that no pharmacy or shop will be opened before the rights of my children in the Diocese are fully restored.”
Read more on Egyptian State Security Accused of Cover-up in Muslim Riots on the AINA site.