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Secretary Rice In Egypt: Copts Deliver a Letter of Demands

Contact: Rafique Iscandar, American Coptic Union, 201-798-1451, americancu@hotmail.com

MEDIA ADVISORY, Oct. 3 /Christian Newswire/ -- The President of the American Coptic Union (ACU) sends the following open letter to the US Department of State, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Dear Secretary of State Rice:

The American Coptic Union (ACU), which represents Coptic people in the United States and Egypt, is deeply concerned about the human rights abuses perpetrated against the Copts in Egypt. While these violations against our people have been escalating since September 11, 2001, the Egypt government has not protected its Coptic population—as Islamic terrorists and the Egyptian State Security Investigation authority continues to attack and persecute the Copts.

The daily horrors of shame-rape, ethnic cleansing, forced displacement and forced conversion, particularly in the southern part of Upper Egypt, are seriously eroding the Copts’ economic, social, and religious existence. Despite the good relationship and numerous calls by President George W. Bush to President Hosni Mubarak, the daily life of the Copts continues to deteriorate.

While the Egypt government continues to isolate its Coptic population, it has never discussed the constitutional rights of Egypt’s Christians nor has it legislated any new laws or presidential decrees to ensure human rights for the Copts. In fact, human rights activists are often harassed, attacked and falsely imprisoned in Egypt for speaking out.

As I write this letter to you, not one case of rape or kidnap, which was reported to the Egyptian authorities, has been filed. The ACU has personally documented and reported many of these crimes, which the Egyptian government has ignored.

Mary Bulak is a Coptic mother who lost two underage daughters, after they were kidnapped, raped and forcefully converted to Islam, Nov. 10, 2003. Although our organization has spent considerable time with officials from the U.S. Department of State and the USCIRF, giving full details of the horrible crimes and suffering endured by the Bulaks, the Egyptian government still refuses to end the suffering of this family (and thousands of other families who have endured similar persecution). Another crime committed by the Egyptian government is the killing of Sabry Zaky Esq., a Human Rights lawyer, July 23, 2004. This crime was also ignored and to this day, it remains unsolved despite several requests for investigation.

The American Coptic Union requests that you discuss the continued human rights abuses of the Copts in Egypt, along with the cases mentioned in this letter, during your upcoming meeting with the Egyptian government. We also suggest building a friendly grass roots effort with those Christians and Muslims who are loyal to the U.S. and its values for freedom.


Rafique Iscandar