Bishop Defends Protesters In Egypt

A Catholic Bishop has spoken out against the Egyptian military's use of violence against what he has called "peaceful" protesters, calling it "unacceptable."

Coptic Bishop Antonios Aziz Mina of Guizeh has addressed growing concerns over Egypt's power disputes, after it was recently reported that 38 people have died with almost 4000 injured.

The Egyptian people are calling for the country's military to step down after gaining control of Egypt, following former president Hosni Mubarak's downfall.

The protesters' calls have resulted in violence erupting, with clashes between locals and police intensifying and even heightened tensions between Coptic Christians and Muslims; although it's been reported that the riots have become relatively calmer today.

The bishop has said, “The army has not learned the lesson that if you shoot people they will react. The more you attack them, the more they will react....The authorities have no right to shoot peaceful people."

The Bishop also defended the protesters who have become increasingly unhappy despite their requests for Mubarak to step down earlier this year being fulfilled, “The rights of the people need to be defended. By making demonstrations, they are not making a political statement, they are calling for justice.”

He went on to explain, “The young people, who began the revolution [that led to Mubarak’s downfall], no longer trust people in authority especially the military. They were full of hope when the revolution began but now no longer.”

It is believed that tensions began after "at least 25 Christians were killed" following political protests that were broken up by the military, Reuters reports.

Almost one week after the deaths, the Military publicly prohibited "discrimination on the basis of race, gender or religion in a new decree," according to Reuters, placing a strict ban on such behavior.

The people are said to have been outraged by the ban, which resulted in the recent protests.

The Bishop defended the actions of the protesters saying, “People have a right to speak out in this way. The only way they can make their point is by demonstrating."