Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Pope Tawadros II : Maspero Clashes 'horror' can not be denied

Following backlash to prior statements, Coptic Pope Tawadros II acknowledges the 'undeniable horror' of the Maspero clashes and encourages those affected to seek justice through the legal system

Tawadros

Egypt's Coptic Pope Tawadros II

Pope Tawadros II, the head of Egypt’s Coptic Church described the Maspero clashes of 2011 as a horrifying incident that cannot be denied on Monday during his visit to Alexandria, insisting that victims focus on legal recourse to restore the rights of their rights.

"The Maspero clashes of 2011 are a horrifying and undeniable incident that are equally shocking as the Two Saints Church bombings in 2011 on new year’s eve" the Pope said after a morning mass in St. Mary and St. George Church in Alexandria.

The Pope’s recent comments come after controversial statements he made on the incident during the past two months.

In November, Tawadros told Al-Hayat television channel that it was not wise to raise the issue of Maspero clashes as current circumstances in Egypt did not allow for it as the army and police are currently under pressure.

The statements drew widespread criticism from human rights activists along with survivors of the clashes.

Later in November, the pope repeated these statements to Spanish newspaper “ElMundo,” adding that he did not know who was at fault for what happened as it occurred before his tenure as pope.

On 9 October 2011, 27 Coptic protesters were killed when a peaceful march against the destruction of a church in Aswan and the authorities' subsequent inaction was confronted by the military police at the state radio and television building at Maspero in downtown Cairo.

At least 28 Coptic Christians were killed while 212 others were injured.