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Libya continues persecution of Copts, closes embassy in Egypt

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/03/16/libya-continues-persecution-of-copts-closes-embassy-in-egypt/ Libya continues persecution of Copts, closes embassy in
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 17 8:54 PM
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      http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/03/16/libya-continues-persecution-of-copts-closes-embassy-in-egypt/

      Libya continues persecution of Copts, closes embassy in Egypt
      Luiz Sanchez / March 16, 2013

      The Libyan crackdown on Copts continues as four more Egyptians are
      arrested for being Christians

      The Maspero Youth Union (MYU) confirmed on Saturday that four Egyptian
      Copts were detained at a checkpoint on Friday in the Libyan city of
      Misrata. MYU claims that those detained are being held because they are
      Christians.

      Beshoy Tamri, a member of MYU, said the Egyptian government must do more
      to protect the rights of its citizens abroad. “We think that if our
      government was serious about protecting our people there, they would
      send lawyers to help,” Tamri said. “The truth is that our country does
      not respect Egyptians living abroad.”

      The Libyan embassy in Cairo, meanwhile, has announced it is suspending
      all services indefinitely but has not provided a reason.

      In response to the arrests, Pope Tawadros II met with several Coptic
      movements on Friday, the MYU political bureau member Mina Magdi El-Qess
      said. He added that the pope is in contact with the Minister of Foreign
      Affairs Mohamed Kamel Amr, and is exerting all possible efforts to
      release the four detainees.

      Magdi El-Qess said that the MYU will do what they can to show support.

      The National Salvation Front (NSF), Egypt’s largest opposition bloc,
      condemned the arrests and similar incidents of assault on Egyptians in
      Libya. In a statement released on Saturday the NSF said it was worried
      about the repeated attacks on Copts and Christian places of worship.

      “Egyptians are also being deported from Libya in a humiliating manner
      far from humanitarian standards and without taking the appropriate legal
      action or guaranteeing the rights of Egyptian workers,” the NSF
      statement read.

      The statement said the NSF is keen to preserve the historical
      relationship with Libya, and called on authorities to take
      responsibility and defend the rights of Egyptians working in the country.

      The NSF said they are surprised and displeased by the Egyptian
      authorities’ slow response to the situation. The NSF said the government
      is behaving in a similar fashion to the Mubarak regime, referring to the
      swift reaction of the presidency in sending delegates to negotiate the
      release of Muslim Brotherhood members in the United Arab Emirates whilst
      ignoring Egyptians in Libya.

      The NSF said that such actions show that the government’s pledge to
      defend Egyptian interests abroad is an empty slogan. “The regime is only
      interested in empowering and working for the benefit of the ruling
      Muslim Brotherhood,” they added.

      “The NSF confirms that it will not hesitate to defend the interests of
      Egyptian citizens by all means possible,” the statement concluded.

      Since the Libyan revolution toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi the
      country has witnessed a sharp increase in sectarian violence. Over the
      past six months attacks on Christian churches and the imprisonment,
      torture, deportation and murder of Christians have risen.
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