(AFP) – Oct 4, 2011
CAIRO — Hundreds of Christian Copts protested outside the state television building on Tuesday after a church was burned in the southern Aswan district and demanded that the governor be sacked, the channel reported.
A church was burned down on Friday in Merinab village after Aswan provincial governor Mustafa al-Seyyed was reported as saying Copts had built it without the required planning permission, the television reported.
The protesters also demanded the release of blogger Michael Nabil, 26, who was sentenced to three years' hard labour in April by a military court for having "insulted" the army in his writings.
Amnesty International in a statement on Tuesday said Egypt's ruling military was responsible for the life of the blogger, who was on the 43rd day of a hunger strike, after his appeal hearing was adjourned to October 11.
"Civilians should never face trial before military courts, which are fundamentally unfair, as they deny defendants basic fair trial guarantees, including the right to proper appeal," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty's Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa said.
"It seems that little has changed since the ?January 25 Revolution?. The Egyptian authorities must urgently act to rectify the injustice done to this blogger whose life is in danger after his wrongful imprisonment."
Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, a former defence minister, took charge of Egypt when a popular uprising ousted president Hosni Mubarak in February.
He heads the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has been under fire for the slow implementation of promised reforms in the Arab world's most populous country.
Sectarian clashes are frequent in Egypt where Copts, who make up 10 percent of the 80-million-strong population, have been the target of attacks and have repeatedly accused the authorities of systematic discrimination.
Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved. More »