Egyptian Government Report Absolves Army of Maspero Massacre

Egyptian Government Report Absolves Army of Maspero Massacre

In a report regarding the Oct. 9 massacre of 27 Coptic Christians, the fact-finding commission of Egypt's National Council for Human Rights absolved the army of any responsibility of firing ammunition and provided evidence for its innocence, ASSIST News Service reports. The report, which put the blame of the massacre on "unidentified" citizens and accused the protesters of inciting violence, drew angry responses from Copts and was blasted by NGOs and human rights activists as a whitewash of the military's role in the massacre. The report acknowledged that 12 Copts were run over by armored vehicles but asserted that those deaths were not intentional and due only to the attempts of police to disperse the crowd. "The report does not clarify who is responsible, and describes it as non-deliberate mistakes," said Magdy Khalil of Coptic Solidarity International. Sources say Coptic Orthodox Church leaders are expected to criticize the report; Copts maintain that all 27 deaths were the responsibility of the government.

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