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Egypt: Al Kalema Centre condemns attacks against Anba Beshouy monastery
Al Kalema center for human rights condemn in the strongest terms the attacks that were carried out by the Egyptian army against Anba Beshouy monastery located in Natron Valley.
An Egyptian army consisting of 7 armoured personnel carriers accompanied by military police vehicles along with no less than 100 heavily armed soldiers raided the monastery in the morning of Feb. 23 2011 and committed the following:
1- Demolish a small fence that was built to protect the monastery following the withdrawal of Egyptian police that was protecting the monastery, that fence was built based on advice from the fleeing Egyptian police force and was built on a desert piece of land that the monastery have requested to buy from the government.
2- A heavy barrage of live ammunition, rubber bullets, and two R.P.G rockets were unleashed towards the monks and workers and the visitors of the monastery whom were gathered to observe what the army unit was doing.
3- As per the Monastery press release as a result of this vicious attack one monk was injured and is receiving medical care, while four visitors and workers were seriously injured, one of them has lost his spleen as a result while another had three bullets in his right kidney. The soldiers used abusive and degrading language with the monks and detained two monks in an unspecified location.
This monastery was built in the fourth century BC which justifies building that fence to protect it as a monument and a place of worship in view of the lack of security that result from the Jan/25/2011 revolution.
The Egyptian army has won praise for his disciplined conduct during the Egyptian Jan /25 revolution, therefore we request that army leaders take measures to hold those responsible accountable and prevent such conduct in the future.
Al Kalema view this attack as a violation of freedom of worship which is a basic human right and request that the united nation high commissioner for human rights take the appropriate measures.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees