EU parliament accuses Egypt of persecuting Christian minority

The European Parliament in Strasbourg passed a draft resolution Thursday accusing the Egyptian and Syrian governments of persecuting their Christian minorities.

Some 10,000 Coptic Christians have left Egypt since March, the draft resolution says, noting that 28 Egyptians were killed and hundreds wounded in a demonstration near the Maspero building in Cairo on 9 October.

The draft expresses concern over the continued detention of blogger Maikel Nabil and demands his immediate release. It also calls for limiting military trials for civilians.

While the draft praises the 25 January revolution, it calls on Egyptian authorities not to impose direct or indirect restrictions on civil society organizations. It also urges them to take on a facilitator role during the transitional period and through elections, which the draft says it hopes will be free and transparent.

The draft also calls on European institutions to support Egypt during its transitional period to help the country achieve democracy, protect minorities, and guarantee equality and freedom of religion.

Egypt is currently liaising with European governments in order to soften the draft's accusations, said informed sources in Brussels.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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