Activists to protest Friday against Maspero sentencing

The Maspero Youth Union issued a call to protest against the Cairo Criminal Court's conviction of two Coptic activists on Monday on charges related to the Maspero massacre.

They plan to march from Shubra to the office of the public prosecutor on Friday.

The North Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Michael Adel Naguib Farag and Michael Mosaad Shaker to three years in prison for stealing a machine gun from the Armed Forces during clashes between Coptic protesters and military police in front of the Maspero state TV building in October 2011.

The two activists were among 33 who were arrested from the night of 9 October to the early hours of 10 October 2011 during the clashes, which left 27 dead. The majority of those arrested were Copts.

Yvonne Mossaad, union spokesperson, issued a statement saying the movement would make the case international, now that the judiciary has become a tool of the Muslim Brotherhood.

She denounced the investigation procedures, which started with the military prosecution, then moved to the Supreme State Security Prosecution and finally to a Justice Ministry magistrate.

Widely circulated video clips showed armored vehicles running over protesters, but army officials said the killings were accidental. They accused protesters of assaulting the Armed Forces and "infiltrators" of stealing the vehicles that were seen mowing down demonstrators. Three soldiers were convicted for manslaughter in September.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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