Egypt: Assailants slash throats of 5 Christians in 4 different incidents

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Four incidents including violence against Coptic Christians have been recorded in Egypt. Their dead bodies were found with throats slashed. World Watch Monitor reported that these incidents reportedly unfolded over a two-week time span. During the first two weeks of January 2017, four Coptic Christians were murdered while another one was found dead recently.

Christian Persecution in Egypt

Christian Persecution watchdog group World Watch Monitor reported that dead body of 37-year-old Ishak Ibrahim Fayez Younan, was discovered at his residence in Cairo on January 16. The deceased was father of two. His dead body was found with his throat slashed while he was in the apartment he rented in the capital. Police believe this might be a case of robbery, however no valuables were taken by the assailants who killed Ishak.

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World Watch Monitor reported that brother of the victim Magdy Younan, said that the victim had recently returned from his village, after celebrating the Coptic Christmas holiday with his family. “It was his first visit to the family in two months,” he said. He said that his brother had returned to Cairo on January 12. Ishak last spoke with his wife on January 13.

Ishak’s brother further told that it had been only four days upon his arrival in Cairo, that Ishak’s slain body was discovered by him and brother-in-law. “I headed to Ishak’s flat with our brother-in-law,” Younan said. “When we got there, the door was locked. We knocked loudly but no one answered.”

Magdy Younan said that he and his brother-in-law went to Ishak’s workplace and were informed that he had never reported back since he left for his Christmas holiday. “We went back to his flat and managed to open the door,” Younan said. “We found Ishak’s body lying in a pool of blood. He had a large wound at his throat.”

“There was no sign of a struggle — everything was in its place. His wallet was still in his pocket with 400 Egyptian pounds in it. The murderer didn’t steal his money or anything from the flat, which indicates that the motive was not theft.”

“Despite President al-Sisi urging religious tolerance and moderation in several public statements during the year, including in a January 2015 speech at Al Azhar University, the government’s efforts to combat extremism and terrorism have had a chilling impact on civil society activities in the country. Among the consequences have been severe limits on dissent and criticism of the government, resulting in a poor human rights situation overall, including for freedom of religion or belief.

Conditions for Coptic Orthodox Christians remained precarious, as most perpetrators of attacks in recent years have not been convicted, including from large scale incidents that occurred between 2011 and 2013. Small communities of Baha’is and Jehovah’s Witnesses remain banned and anti-Semitism persists in state-controlled and semi-official media,” stated United States Commission for International Religious Freedom report.