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The Copts: a question for Egypt

President Hosni Mubarak had his first meeting with President George W Bush in Washington on 2 April. This was the usual time of year for the presidential visit to the United States, and the time of year for various groups of expatriate Copts to start noisy accusations of persecution of Egypt’s Christian minority. On 22 March Copts were “marching for justice in Washington DC on behalf of the persecuted Copts in Egypt,” according to The Pen vs The Sword (1). This year there has been much to march about. On 4 February a court ruling found none of 96 defendants guilty of murder during the worst sectarian clashes in the country’s recent history, when at least 20 Christians and one Muslim were killed in the small Upper Egyptian town of al-Khosheh early last year. The Prosecutor General announced that he would appeal against the verdict, possibly because of Coptic anger.

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