EGYPT – ISLAM
Egyptian security forces storm the Monastery of St Macarius, three monks badly injured
About 300 agents take part in the assault, backed by cars and armoured vehicles. Tear gas, batons and stones wee used against the monks. The siege, which began on 7 September, lasted 24 hours. Ownership and new cells for monks are the core of the contentious issue.
Cairo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Hundreds of Egyptian security forces, backed by a large number of cars and armoured vehicles, attacked the monastery of St Macarius of Alexandria in Wadi Rayan, Fayoum Province, 150 kilometres south of Cairo. The action began at 8 pm on 7 September, but news about it only filtered recently. About 300 agents took part in the assault, using tear gas, batons and stones against monks, three of whom were seriously wounded.
According to the AINA news agency, security forces prevented the delivery of limestone bricks for the construction of cells for the monks inside the ancient Monastery. They also tried to seize the bricks already delivered but the monks sat on them, refusing to move.
The issue concerns the ownership of the area and its use, with monks and the government holding different positions.
The authorities claim that Wadi Rayan is a conservation area that cannot be touched. The monks say they must build cells inside the monastery, which goes back long before it was ever designated as a conservation area.
Security forced surrounded the Monastery until 12 AM the following day, but withdrew "after seeing the insistence of monks to assert their rights," said Fr Boulos el-Makkary, one of the 85 monks living in the monastery. "They left with the commander promising to be back soon."
“The monks believe that the government wants to prevent any construction on the premises to prevent any increase in the number of monks living there, even though cells for the monks are badly needed," Father Boulos added.
At present, cells are shared by five to eight monks even though each should have his own.
The Monastery of St Macarius, also known as the "Buried Monastery" since most of its cells are caves in the mountain, has been uninhabited for a long time because of the lack of electricity and water. However, in 1996 monks began living there permanently and obtained permission from the Minister of Environment.
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» 15/09/2010 12:44
EGITTO - ISLAM
Forze di sicurezza egiziane assaltano il monastero di San Macario, gravi tre religiosi
All’attacco hanno partecipato oltre 300 agenti, a bordo di veicoli e mezzi militari. Lanciati gas lacrimogeni, pietre e sassi all’indirizzo dei monaci. L’assedio, scattato il 7 settembre, è durato 24 ore. Al centro della contesa l’area su cui sorge l’edificio e la costruzione di nuove celle per i religiosi.
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Kirkuk: young Christian abducted, tortured and beheaded
Ashur Yacob Issa, 29, was the father of three children. He was abducted three days ago. Negotiations for his released failed. This morning police found his body, which bore “horrific marks of torture”. In voicing his outrage, the archbishop of Kirkuk slammed this “inhuman act,” urging everyone to work together to “protect defenceless citizens”.
Kirkuk (AsiaNews) – An Iraqi Christian man was abducted, tortured and then beheaded. The victim was from Kirkuk, northern Iraq. Police found his body this morning. He had been kidnapped three days ago and the family had received a ransom request. However, negotiations for his release did not work out and so he was brutally murdered. For the archbishop of Kirkuk, his death is an “inhuman act” because it goes “against every human and religious principle”. Iraqi Christians have been living in a state of high tension since the killing of Osama Bin Laden, fearing possible revenge by local Muslim extremists.
Ashur Yacob Issa was 29 years old and had three children, a source in Kirkuk toldAsiaNews. He was abducted three days ago for ransom. His kidnappers wanted US$ 100,000 to release him. However, negotiations with his family “did not work out”, a local Christian said.
The incident came to a terrible end this morning, when police found the young man’s body, by the side of a bridge. The body showed “horrific marks of torture”, the source said. The head had been cut off and the eyes gauged out of their socket.
The crime sent a shockwave through the city, especially in its Christian community. although the victim was kidnapped in order to get a large sum of money, the death of Osama Bin Laden by the US on 2 May has raised the tension level in the Christian community. Since then in fact, it has been living in fear of possible reprisals by Muslim extremists.
Speaking to AsiaNews, Mgr Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk, condemned the murder of the young man, calling it an “inhuman act” that goes against “every human and religious principle”.
“No man who believes in God and respects life can commit such acts,” the prelate said.
Now Mgr Sako’s concern is for the widow and her fatherless children.
However, in a warning to the perpetrators of this act, the archbishop said, “Let them think about those who are left without a father and a husband. Even if human justice is not done, divine justice shall, sooner or later”.
Lastly, the archbishop of Kirkuk called on police and security forces officials, both local and national, to undertake joint action “so that all people of good will can work together to protect defenceless citizens.” (DS)
» 16/05/2011 15:15
Kirkuk: giovane cristiano rapito, torturato e decapitato
Ashur Yacob Issa aveva 29 anni ed era padre di tre figli. Era stato sequestrato tre giorni fa; le trattative per il rilascio non sono andate a buon fine. Questa mattina la polizia ha rinvenuto il cadavere, con “orribili segni di torture”. La condanna dell’arcivescovo di Kirkuk, che parla di “gesto disumano” e invita alla cooperazione per “proteggere cittadini inermi”.
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