The Free Copts الأقباط الأحرار
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Will the Egyptian authorities get away with their massacre against the refugees?
Egypt is still lying about the cause of death of refugees and claims it was due to a stampede as we reported here
Egypt to Deport Sudanese Asylum-Seekers
By VOA News
Egypt says it plans to deport some 650 Sudanese asylum-seekers dispersed by police from a make-shift camp in downtown Cairo last week.
A foreign ministry spokeswoman, Fatma el-Zahraa Etman, said that those set for deportation on Thursday were found to be illegal immigrants or had broken Egyptian law.
The Sudanese migrants were among a group of about 1,000 who clashed with police last week. Twenty-seven people were killed in the violence. Egyptian officials said the deaths were caused by a stampede, but witnesses said police beat the Sudanese
Cairo Massacre at 265 Dead?
Habib Al A'dly, the Egyptian Minister of Interior should be brought to trial for crimes against humanity
Sudanese and the friends of the people of Sudan will be demonstrating tomorrow, Thursday January 5, 2006 at 11:00 A.M. in front of the Egyptian embassy in Washington DC
By Eric Reeves
Cairo representative of the southern Sudan People’s Liberation Movement has reported, on behalf of the SPLM Committee in Cairo, the results of a canvassing of area hospitals:
180 dead at Giza Hospital
27 dead at Zeinhom Hospital
35 dead at Manshiet El Bakry Hospital
23 dead at Kasr El Eini Hospital
This represents a total of 265 dead; the Egyptian regime is cleaving to a figure about a tenth of this. There is no authoritative independent casualty figure, nor will this repressive regime allow for such.
Monday, January 02, 2006
American Media Debates Coptic Visa Issue
Sudanese in U.S. Condemn Police Brutality of Refugees in Cairo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 2, 2006
Contact: Sabit Alley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (732) 236-3219
Survivors say over 50 Killed
TRENTON, NJ: Members of the South Sudanese Community in the U.S. are outraged by the murder of their fellow country men in Cairo by the Egyptian security forces. Reports from surviving refugees in Cairo say that, contrary to most news reports, the number killed has risen to over 50 and this number may continue to rise as more bodies are discovered.
The South Sudanese Community in the U.S. condemns, in the strongest terms, the brutal use of force by the Egyptian security forces, which has resulted in the killing of innocent Sudanese in the Egyptian capital. We also condemn the actions of the UNHCR for collaborating with the Egyptian police and for its continued failure to protect these refugees.
The problem began early Friday morning when Egyptian police attacked the refugees who had been peacefully camping on the UNHCR compound for the last three months. Many of them had suffered discrimination in Egypt for several years and had made numerous complaints about their plight in Egypt to the UNHCR, but were ignored.
The refugees first decided to camp outside of the UNHCR's offices in Cairo last September, because of the UNHCR's continued refusal to listen and address their grievances. The objective of their camp was to draw attention to their suffering and to plead with the U.N. to relocate them to a third country for refuge, but the UNHCR refused to do anything.
According to reports from refugees, who were eyewitnesses to the violence and managed to escape, the officers not only sprayed hot water on the refugees, but beat them with batons and fired gun shots at them. As a result, the police killed a number of refugees and injured many others. A large number of those who were not killed, were bundled up into waiting buses and driven off to undisclosed locations in the Egyptian desert.
"We are receiving numerous reports that the Egyptian security forces are now searching for and rounding up South Sudanese refugees in the city to be taken to these undisclosed locations," said Sabit Alley, a leader in the South Sudanese Community in the U.S.
Knowing the brutality of the Egyptian security forces in the past, the Sudanese Community in the US is concerned that their kinsmen in Egypt are being tortured in locations where journalists and human rights groups are denied access. We are also concerned that the Egyptian government, in concert with the UNHCR, may forcefully deport refugees to Sudan, where they had escaped religious, racial and political victimization and persecution, and where these highly oppressive conditions still exist despite Sudan's peace agreement to end its north-south civil war.
The South Sudanese Community of the U.S. requests that the U.S. government and the international community intervene in this crisis and:
1- Appoint an independent international body to investigate the circumstances surrounding the wanton and barbaric murder of innocent South Sudanese refugees in Cairo;
3- Demand that the Egyptian government and the UNHCR immediately cease their plans to forcefully deport these refugees against their will to the Sudan;
4- Ask international non-governmental organizations to provide emergency medical and relief services to the wounded and affected refugees;
5- Request that the UNHCR immediately relocate these refugees to a friendly third country where their safety can be guaranteed.
Sabit Alley is an Associate Representative of the SPLA/M in America and a leader of the South Sudanese Community in the U.S.
A Copt named for governor of Quina
Egyptian president named a Coptic Christian as the governor of Quina province (Quina Governorate) in Upper Egypt
General Magdi Ayoub Iskandar was the only Copt among 26 governors of Egyptian provinces who were sworn in on January 1st, 2006
Many Copts described the move as a “ positive step in the right direction” and urged the Egyptian president to follow on the same path to end an era of exclusion of the Copts from holding high ranking posts.
The Pharaoh and the Rebel
Inside Egypt's crackdown on democracy
The story behind Hosni Mubarak’s persecution of Egypt’s top opposition leader—and what it means for the country’s democratic reforms
Saturday, December 31, 2005
Ending the Silent War in Egypt
By: Hala Mustafa*
While much attention has been paid to the violent attacks and intimidation directed at the opposition during Egypt's recent parliamentary elections, the involvement of the country's security forces in political life is not limited to this sort of visible confrontation.
The real threat of Egypt's state security apparatus, as in many other Middle Eastern states, is that it continues to secretly manipulate the entire political system.
American and domestic efforts to promote political reform in the region will achieve only cosmetic changes, of the kind we've seen so far, unless this clandestine chokehold is broken.
In Egypt, it is no secret that the security services are deeply involved in the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), selecting high-level officials and most of the party's candidates for elections. As a result, in the recent parliamentary elections, many official NDP candidates were defeated by party dissidents who ran as independent candidates.
Nominees of the secret police, it turns out, aren't popular with voters.Even the NDP Policies Committee -- established three years ago as the party's vehicle for reform -- could not escape the clutches of the security services, which promoted a group of phony reformers to positions of influence and visibility in a false response to America's call for political change.
Meanwhile, genuine liberal voices were excluded, making reform from within impossible. Such practices are not limited to the highest ranks of the party: Recruitment for all positions is based on loyalty to security authorities rather than merit, qualifications, political background or experience.
The media are subjected to the same control. Even private, independent papers are held hostage to the security services, which have the power to license and shut down any newspaper and which exercise similar control over the granting of licenses to journalists.
The same goes for TV stations -- including al-Hurra, the U.S.-sponsored satellite channel, which is supposed to be providing uncensored news from an American point of view.
From the beginning, al-Hurra's operation in Egypt was subject to the covert control of the security services, a fact that is not always apparent to those who oversee the station from Washington. The services have close ties to some of the station's directors and handpick many correspondents.
They even have final say over which guests appear on programs. As a result, anyone who has paid careful attention to the tone and opinions of the regular programming will notice that liberal, progressive, open-minded views are presented almost apologetically.
While al-Hurra is supposed to be a vibrant, fresh forum for freedom, it has failed to provide a real space for balanced views, and so it has been incapable of competing with the "Islamic" al-Jazeera and "pan-Arabist" al-Arabiya channels.
Unless the security services are reined in, real political change and efforts to implement "reform from within" will continue to be blocked in Egypt and across the Middle East.
The enlightened political elite will remain powerless, individuals who can make genuine contributions will be systematically targeted, moderate groups and trends will continue to be excluded, and most citizens will remain absent from political life (as was unfortunately demonstrated in the recent elections, in which the overwhelming majority of Egyptians did not vote).
In a word, the political arena will still echo only one voice.
The "silent war" waged by the security services will keep Egypt stuck at square one, caught between the closed, security-obsessed regime and the Islamic fundamentalists. Is that the future we desire?
* Editor of Al-Ahram’s quarterly journal al-Dimuqratia (Democracy).
This article was published in "The Washington Post"
Egyptian Semi-Official Newspaper : Refugees Killed Themselves
Just like in every incident against the Copts, the Egyptian media- sadly- is misleading the public and claims that the death of over 20 Sudanese refugees was due to a stampede and not because of police brutality!!
Al Ahram, front page, December 31, 2005
بادر اللاجئون بالاعتداء علي قوات الأمن وقذفها باسطوانات البوتاجاز الصغيرة والآلات والمتعلقات الخاصة بهم, وتداخلهم في أمواج بشرية لمواصلة اعتدائهم علي قوات الشرطة, مما أسفر عن مصرع عشرة معتصمين دهسا واختناقا تحت أقدام الجموع الغفيرة من اللاجئين
The refugees began attacking the security forces and threw small gas cylinders and belongings at them, and then they were woven into masses to continue their attacks against the police forces, which resulted in the death of ten strikers who were trampled and suffocated in a stampede under the multitude of refugees
Egypt 'must probe Cairo violence'
Egypt 'must probe Cairo violence'
Egypt: Investigate Police for Sudanese Deaths
Twenty Migrants Killed in Raid
President Husni Mubarak should urgently appoint an independent commission to investigate the use of force by police against Sudanese migrants demonstrating in a makeshift camp in Mohandiseen, Cairo, Human Rights Watch said today. At least 20 persons reportedly died.
Given Egypt’s terrible record of police brutality, an independent investigation is absolutely necessary to assess responsibility and punish those responsible.
Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East & North Africa division
"The blood is still on the sidewalks, and already the government is blaming the Sudanese refugees and migrants" said Stork
The Sudanese migrants have been protesting outside the offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees since September 29 seeking to be relocated to other countries. The evident planning of the police operation to clear the park in Mohandiseen suggested that the police acted on the basis of a high-level policy decision. Human Rights Watch called for an investigation that looked at all levels of the police command, including the role of Interior Minister Habib al-`Adli.
Friday, December 30, 2005
Egyptian Police Kill 10 Sudanese in Cairo
By BEN CURTIS, Associated Press Writer
CAIRO, Egypt - Egyptian police fired water cannons on Sudanese war refugees and beat them with sticks Friday as they tried to dismantle a camp in a city park where the refugees have squatted for months. Ten Sudanese, including elderly people and children, were killed, the government said.
Hundreds of Sudanese have been living in the park since September to protest the U.N. refugee agency's refusal to consider them for refugee status. They want to be resettled in a third country, such as the United States or Britain, rather than go home after a peace deal ended the 21-year-long civil war in Sudan.
Thousands of security forces moved in before midnight and closed off the area around the city park where the camp had been set up near the refugee agency.
Police fired water cannons at the protesters, then invaded the park when the Sudanese still refused to leave
Police beat the unarmed migrants with batons, continuing to hit them even as they were being dragged to government buses waiting to take them away. One officer carried a girl of about 3 or 4 years old who was unconscious. An ambulance worker said the girl was dead.
Thirty migrants, mostly elderly people and children, were wounded and transferred to a nearby hospital, where 10 of them died, the ministry said. Twenty-three policemen were also wounded.
The Interior Ministry blamed the violence on the protesters.
COPTS: U.S. TURNS BLIND EYE TO BIAS
By NILES LATHEM
Advocates for Coptic Christians are charging the State Department with whitewashing charges that hard-line Muslims at the U.S. Embassy in Egypt are denying visas for religious reasons.
"They have their heads in the sand and their ears closed to a disturbing problem," said the Rev. Keith Roderick, head of the Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights.
He was responding to the State Department's vigorous efforts to dispute The Post's report on Monday that 15 to 20 employees at the Cairo embassy's consular section were being investigated because of the bias charges.
The Post revealed that at a Dec. 8 meeting, senior State Department officials were presented with affidavits of Copts. The complaints alleged that Islamist posters were on display in the embassy — including one that depicted a U.S. supporter of the Hamas terrorist group.
A day after The Post's story, U.S. officials in Cairo took reporters from other papers on a tour of the embassy to deny the posters were on display. Yesterday, State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said, "Our embassy in Cairo looked into the complaints and found no basis for any allegation that the [visa] decisions were made on any basis other than U.S. law and regulations." Coptic Christians have long complained of religious discrimination.
Magdi Khalil, executive editor of Watani International, a Coptic newspaper in Egypt, said yesterday he has received "hundreds of complaints" about discrimination against Copts at the embassy.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Amro Khalid gets a visa to the US !
According to El Fagr Egyptian Newspaper:
Egyptian Intellectuals warn the American Ambassador against admitting another Omar Abdel Rahman into the USA:
During a dinner that hosted a large number of Egyptian intellectuals including Tarek Heggy, Richard Downey the American Ambassador to Cairo admitted that he has granted a US visa to Amro Khalid from the American Embassy in Cairo. Some of the attendants objected and stated that this might repeat the tragedy of the Unites States with Omar Abdel Rahman and Osama Bin Ladin, but the American Ambassador described Amro Khalid as a moderate preacher and asserted that dialogue with these moderates is inevitable .
Lies of the NY times reporter
Images promoting Islam at the Arabic section of the Department of State's Bureau of International Information website
The NY Times' ABEER ALLAM says there are "No Posters From Islamists in U.S. Mission" and falsely claims that ( the only posters were those of the black-robed Coptic Christian pope, Shenuda III, and Santa Claus)
Ms. Allam is not telling the truth, and we challenge her to publish the image of Pope Shenouda she claimed to be posted at the embassy
In fact, there are no posters of Pope Shenouda at the embassy, unless she considers a small 2x3 image placed at one employee's desk as reported by the NY Sun to be a poster, and according to visa applicants even the Christmas tree at the embassy is a tree decorated with Islamic symbols such as the crescent.
Posters at the embassy seen by thousands of people over the past few years untill early December of 2005 when complaints were filed read (Islam is a religion of peace) with the image of some American Muslims including "Nihad Awad" from CAIR who was caught on video calling for the support of Hamas
"I am in support of the Hamas movement." - Nihad Awad
Other posters promoted Islam such as ( Islam is the religion of one billion people) , (Islam is the fastest growing religion in America) and some comments made by the grand Imam of Al Azhar indicating Islam as a religion of peace, in addition to poetic stanza praising Islam entitled (Tolerance of Islam)
Two large posters of mosques in the US, one in Arabic and another in English, show many mosques in the US with halos around it indicating holiness
All you have to do is visit this link here from the State Department's Arabic section and tell us what you see:
المساجد في الولايات المتحدة
The reception and security check employees at the embassy are veiled women. The individuals that review applications are veiled women.
There is a mosque at the USAID building, but there are no chapels. And Muslims get between 1.5 to 2 hours a day for prayer break, but non-Muslims don't get the same break.
Ms. Allam, a Muslim correspondent for the NY Times revealed her bias and ugly attitude at the end of her article when she referred to Copts in the US as "Coptic exile groups," as Copts in the US are not exiled.