CAIRO (AP) – An Egyptian criminal court acquitted three Muslim men accused of naked and parading an elderly Coptic Christian woman from the streets of a village in southern Egypt in 2016, the state’s official news agency reported .
The three were sentenced to 10 years in prison in January before they were detained and given a befitting reply to the attack in the southern province of Minya, where an armed Muslim mob attacked a 70-year-old woman four years ago. After that, rumors spread that her son was having an affair with a Muslim woman. Such relations are forbidden in Orthodox Egypt.
The court on Thursday ruled on the reconsideration petition of the three.
Egypt’s chief prosecutor, Hamada al-Savi, on Friday directed his legal team to look into a possible appeal, the state MENA news agency reported.
The May 2016 attack shook the country. At the time, Minia’s top Christian cleric, Amba Makovaras, told a talk show host on the private Dream TV network that the woman was dragged from her home by a mob, who beat her up and insulted her, before they took off her clothes and Forced him to walk the streets as Allahu Akbar, or “God is great”.
It also sparked a storm of condemnation on social media where users accused the incident of strong influence in the field of ultraconversive Muslims known as Salafis. In the same explosion of communal violence, seven Christian houses were looted and set on fire in Kanya’s Minya village.
Christians, who make up about 10% of Egypt’s population of over 100 million, have long complained of discrimination with the Muslim majority.
Also on Friday, the European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning the “deteriorating” human rights situation in Egypt. Four high-ranking members of the Egyptian security forces formally came under resolution on the heels of a decision by the Egyptian security forces under investigation for the 2016 kidnapping, torture, and murder of 28-year-old Italian student Giulio Regeni in Egypt.
The Egyptian parliament immediately rejected the proposal as unacceptable. The measure alleges progress in the investigation into allegations of “misleading” and “obstructing” Egyptian officials, and calls on EU member states to come under Egyptian pressure to formally indict four suspects from Italian judicial authorities Allow However, such proposals have little significance from the European Parliament as foreign affairs are left to each member state.
At the end of last month, Egyptian prosecutors were insisting that Regeni’s killer is unknown. Authorities have accused a University of Cambridge doctoral student of hunting common robbers.
The EU Parliament resolution listed a group of human rights violations recorded in Egypt since last year and condemned recent action on Egypt’s initiative for individual rights, one of the country’s few remaining advocacy groups .