Egyptian Court Suspends Investigation of Copts Killed in 2011 Maspero Massacre

Egyptian rights activists expressed their resentment over the ruling by the South Cairo Court to suspend the investigations into the Maspero massacre. The massacre, which led to the death of 24 Copts in October of 2011, took place during a peaceful demonstration to protest a demolished church in Aswan.

Dr. Mounir Megahed, coordinator for Egyptians Against Religious Discrimination (MARED), told Mideast Christian News that he could not see the merits of this ruling and that the decision undermines the judicial process.

Megahed added that the situation of Copts is no different under President Mohamed Morsi than it was before the "Arab Spring" revolution. The Mubarak regime used sectarian tensions to serve its own interests and the Brotherhood adopts the same approach, he said.

In the same context, human rights activist Ebraam Lewis, founder of the Association of Victims of Abductions and Forced Disappearance (AVAFD), expressed his resentment of the state's ignorance of victims' rights.

Coordinator of the Coptic Secular Front Kamal Zakher said the decision is causing controversy, especially as the ruling ignores issues that have already been investigated.

South Cairo's Criminal Court decided on Thursday to turn down the appeal submitted by the prosecutor-general against the decision to suspend the Maspero massacre investigation.

The court also refused to respond to demands submitted by the defense staff representing families of the Maspero massacre's victims. Demands included summoning Marshal Mohamed Hussien Tantawi, former head of the military council, General Hamdi Badeen, former head of the military police, General Hassan el-Roweni, former assistant Minister of Defense, and General Ibrahim el-Damati, director of military police.