Coptic Martyrs Blood Still Crying Out For Justice Nine Years Later (6) – Inside the Massacre

Coptic Martyrs Blood Still Crying Out For Justice Nine Years Later (6) – Inside the Massacre

By | 2009-01-11T12:45:00+00:00 January 11th, 2009|Op-Eds|0 Comments

Although, the killing of twenty one Copts could not be considered mass murder by any measure, as this number of people could be easily die in any road traffic accident anywhere. However, “El-Kosheh’s” massacre, or slaughter, as some wish to call it, had different reasons to an overturned bus or a train accident. Such aspects and motivations were reflected upon in the last five reports published in the last weeks.

The fifth article, gave a bigger picture of what took place during those horrific seven hours on that Black Sunday, when Muslims went on a killing rampage against the Copts.

We hope that by exposing the official false "stories" released by the Egyptian authorities, and comparing it to what really happened based on survivors’ accounts, will show people, human right organizations, and politicians in the free world, what really happened then, and what is happening now to the oppressed Copts.
The Egyptian government, which stood there fighting for Iraqi prisoners, mistreated by a few American soldiers, during the Abu-Ghoreib prison’s incident, is the same government which tried to hide the true facts of El-Kosheh massacre.

From President Hosni Mubarak down, officials have said the El-Kosheh charges are a plot to discredit Egypt and that no discrimination — legal or otherwise — is tolerated against Christians.
President Mubarak said the allegations of torture were false, and that Copts enjoy all the rights that Muslims do. Following the incidents of the controversial murder investigation in El-Kosheh, dubbed by the Cairo press as "El-Kosheh I", 16 months earlier, when the police were accused of mistreating and torturing over 1200 Coptic villagers to force confessions implicating a Christian as the culprit, a letter of protest from Freedom House to the Egyptian ambassador in Washington, the got a reply that only 25-40 Christians were arrested, it also said: "Bishop Wissa is known for his extreme religious views and stirring sectarianism."

Sunday Telegraph in its 25th October 1998 issue, published the report "Egyptian police ‘crucify’ and rape Christians" by Christina Lamb, about the brutal police crackdown on Copts of El-Kosheh.

In an act of intimidation, Mustafa Raslan, a famous Egyptian lawyer who often defends cases against Islam, sued The Sunday Telegraph for $167 million for its coverage of the story,

The Egyptian government has responded by launching an international publicity offensive in the wake of disclosures in The Telegraph and a lobbying campaign on the Internet. Meanwhile, I do not know if I would be able to portray a clear enough picture of what really happened during the massacre from the information I gathered. Maybe an account told by an El-Kosheh survivor or eye-witness, would serve the end better.

The brutal methods of killing and defaming of dead bodies like setting them on fire used by those criminals, with the law enforcement agents as accomplices, indicated the immense level of hatred embedded against the Copts. In our last report, the general picture of that morning of January 2nd, 2000 was given. People were going to worship their Creator; others were planning for a massacre.

Mr. Antar Waheeb Girgis, one of the survivor and son of a victim of the massacre, gave the following account to the lawyer of record Mr. Besaada.
His father Waheeb Girgis Hanna" fifty-one year (at the time) was the sole family breadwinner, which was made up of Antar, two brothers, seven sisters, his mother and his old grandmother.
On 2/01/2000 around noon, the family was at their home, in the west side of town. They heard shots and screams; Antar and his father went up to the roof of the house to see what was going on.

They found a Muslim mob storming Copts’ homes and shooting at them. Antar asked his father to flee with the family. His father refused as there was no safe avenue to take, explaining that if they go out to the streets, they would be an easy target to the armed groups. Furthermore, should they use the houses’ roofs as an escape route, they would have to cross some Muslim roofs and therefore, his wife’s and daughters’ lives could be endangered. The father feared that the women may be abducted, sexually assaulted and be killed too. The father decided to stay at home, saying, "If we have to die, we will die inside our home". They left the roof and went back inside the house.
The father found a room where his wife, daughters and elderly mother could hide, and locked its door.

Suddenly an armed group attacked their property; they were able to break the main entrance.
Antar said that only one of that group was known to them, called Maalaoy Fahmy Maalaoy, who was a police guard in the same town. Antar testified that there were no problems between his father and that guard.
Once the group entered the house, the police guard opened fire on Antar.

The father jumped and hugged his son to protect him, while asking the guard "why you want to kill my son? What wrong has my son done to you?"
The police guard thought Antar was already killed, he replied: "and you too will follow him, you Christian dog!" and started to shoot him.

The group started a fire in the house prior leaving.
The mother and daughters left their hiding place to find the father losing excessive amounts of blood, and Antar seriously injured.
Antar went out to the street sobbing and hailing each police vehicle, to help his father, but they refused his pleas. The father died a few hours later.

During one of the first court hearing, the prosecutor, Mr. Ashraf Helal, described this incident, and confirmed all the facts as given above by Antar, his mother and his eldest sister.

The Muslim groups erected check points in roads, in and out of town. The only goal of those check points was to locate Copts and kill them. A Coptic man named Amdan Zareef Kadees, twenty-two years, was trapped and killed in one of those check points.

Amdan was employed at a health unit in the nearby town called "Dar El Salam". He was the breadwinner for a family of nine including a blind father. He was handicapped due to contracting infantile paralysis, as a child.

The Egyptian Human Rights Organization report says that Amdan was returning at around 11am of that Bloody Sunday to El-Kosheh from his work place after delivering important documents.

At the eastern entrance to El-Kosheh, the hired mini bus which he had taken together with other passengers, including another Copt called Atef El-Dab was stopped at the check point erected by the Muslim killers.

As they got off, they saw a Muslim mob heading towards them with sticks and batons. Amdan and Atef hurried away, but as Amdan was handicapped, he could not run quick enough, so he told Atef "You run away, and I have God to take care of me". The Muslims caught up with him, and killed him.

The prosecution said in his indictment "This criminal scene is the height of a bloody work. These defendants waited on the public road to catch Christian passersby and kill them without any mercy or pity. They did not even have pity on this victim, who was affected by infantile paralysis, so they kept hitting him on the head until they killed him".