Activists march to demand justice for Alexandria Copts

The Maspero Youth Union and a number of political groups marched to Egypt's Parliament building Sunday to support MPs presenting the case of Coptic residents forced to leave their homes in Alexandria last week.

Participants started marching from Abdel Moneim Riyad Square in downtown Cairo and hoisted banners decrying the evictions and attacking the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

Tensions grew in Alexandria's Ameriya neighborhood between Muslims and Copts over a rumored love affair between a young Christian man and a Muslim woman, which provoked the woman’s family to assault the Coptic family’s house.

A reconciliation session between residents recommended that eight Coptic families leave their homes to end the violence.

Maspero Youth Union member Hany Ramsis told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the march sought to condemn injustice against Copts in Ameriya.

“Why should eight Coptic families be forced to leave their homes over an individual misdeed that is not even proven to be true?” Ramsis asked, saying demonstrators back the “honorable” MPs who insisted on tackling the issue in Parliament.

Muslim-Christian love affairs and conversion to either religion have been central factors in sectarian violence in Egypt recently.

Sectarian clashes in the Cairo suburb of Imbaba last May left at least 12 dead over rumors that a church was holding a young woman hostage after she allegedly converted to Islam and married a Muslim.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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