ALERT: Solidarity with Egyptian Coptic Christians

Brussels/Copenhagen/Paris/Tunis, 10 April 2017

EuroMed Rights strongly condemns the terrorist attacks perpetrated in Egypt by the terrorist group “Islamic State” at the Coptic churches of Tanta and Alexandria on Sunday 9 April. Those attacks, perpetrated on Palm Sunday, a day of Christian worship, killed at least 47 people from the country’s largest religious minority. Those responsible for these criminal attacks should be swiftly brought to justice, after an impartial and transparent investigation.

EuroMed Rights denounces these barbaric and coward acts of violence targeting the Egyptian Coptic minority, which has been constantly targeted by terrorist groups over the last months. We present our most sincere condolences to the families of the victims of these attacks, as well as the many people injured in yesterday’s explosions.

Our organisation condemns the three-month state of emergency announced by the President in response to the blasts. It will restrict human rights and further shrink the space for civil society, which is already facing the most serious repression in Egypt’s modern history. If it is high time the Egyptian government take appropriate measures to protect all its citizens, including religious minorities, without fuelling the vicious circle of terrorist violence and bloody repression it purportedly claims to address.

To restore security and set the country on the path to democracy, EuroMed Rights calls on the Egyptian authorities to uphold the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the respect for human rights. The government should open the space for an inclusive political dialogue with legitimate peaceful dissidence and civil society. Only pluralism and respect of rights and freedoms can restore Egypt’s security.