Amnesty International has said that the unprecedented increase in sectarian violence in Egypt targeting Christians shows that there is a need for the Egyptian authorities to take urgent steps to ensure their safety. Amnesty International described the incidents as a "shocking neglect of duty" on the part of the security forces.
The organization said in a statement released Tuesday that Coptic Christians have been targeted since the sit-ins of toppled President Mohamed Morsy supporters were dispersed on 14 August by force, apparently because Christians supported the overthrow of Morsy.
The organization said that many Christians were killed in sectarian incidents and a number of churches, shops and homes were attacked.
“It is a shocking dereliction of duty that security forces failed to prevent these sectarian attacks and protect Coptic Christians. The backlash against Coptic Christians should have been anticipated following the dramatic rise in similar incidents since Mohamed Morsy was ousted,” said Hassiba Hadja Sahraoui, deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International. “Attacks against Coptic Christians must be investigated and those responsible brought to justice
“According to the Maspero Youth Union, 38 churches have been burned and an additional 23 partially damaged across the country. Dozens of homes and businesses have been looted and/or burned. More than 20 attacks on churches were documented in the Upper Egypt Governorate of Al-Minya, with more attacks recorded in Alexandria, Assiut, Beni Suef, Fayoum, Giza, North Sinai and Suez. “
Amnesty International stressed that condemning such attacks is not enough. It added that the attacks were not surprising in light of sectarian incitement by Morsy supporters. The organization said some Morsy supporters are making Copts a scapegoat for the crackdown waged against them.