Egypt: forceful relocation of Christians from Rafah, Sinai
Al Kalema Center for human rights (ACHR) condemns in the strongest terms the recent forced relocation of Christian Coptic residents of Rafah, located in Sinai Peninsula.
ACHR considers the Egyptian government to bear some responsibility for this situation by advising Christians to move rather than providing them with adequate protection so that they can stay in their homes. If the Egyptian government is to take its international human rights obligations seriously, it should ensure that those persons involved in the violence are brought to justice, rather than advising targeted Christian communities to abandon their homes.
Suggesting that the targeted Christian minority leaves the area rather than ensuring that those who have committed violent acts against them are brought to trial, merely plays into the hands of those who have perpetrated the violence.
It is useful to remind everyone that the only Christian Coptic church in Rafah was bombed and burned a few months ago amid complete silence from the Egyptian government.
Forcing the Coptic Christians to leave their homes in their masses has been a pattern that is happening all over the country, starting from Atfieh village in Giza, Dahshour, Giza, Al Ameria Alexandria and lately Rafah, Sinai peninsula.
ACHR is requesting that President Mohamad Moursi intervene and that the state ensure that those Coptic Christians are able to return to their homes while under the protective umbrella of the law as Egyptian citizens.
ACHR also calls upon the civic society and all the NGOs to stand firm against that wave of hatred aimed at the Coptic Christian minority.
ACHR calls upon the honorable human rights commissioner and the freedom of religion secretary and the independent expert for minorities to investigate the continuous forceful relocation of the Coptic Christians and to urge the Egyptian government to perform its obligations that has been signed before the international bodies and thus became an integral part of Egypt constitution as per article # 56 of the current constitutional declaration.
Chairman of the board of trustees
Photo: A Coptic Christian church in Rafah showing signs of vandalism and graffiti