Pope Tawadros II has criticised the Egyptian military, accusing it of killing Christian Copts in the Maspero massacre that took place in front of the headquarters of the official Egyptian TV channel in 2011, Egyptian mass media has reported.
In a visit to different churches marking the end of the year, the Pope replied to a question regarding the 28 deaths and 212 injuries sustained mostly by Coptic protesters in 2001, saying: “No one can deny that this incident was a crime and the people connected to it are still demanding their rights.”
The Church has frankly accused the army of killing Copts in the past and has erected a statute to commemorate those killed in the massacre.
The statute included a plaque inscribed with the names of the victims and an epitaph that reads: “Here are the bodies of those martyrs killed on 9 October, 2011 by the bullets and the tanks of the Egyptian army during a peaceful protest in front of the headquarters of the Egyptian TV channel.”
Meanwhile, the spokesman for Judges for Egypt, lawyer Walid Sharabi, said that it was the Church who wasted the lives of the Christian victims through its alliance with the army.
Sharabi wrote on his Facebook page: “Mina Daniel and his colleagues, who were killed when they went out for a peaceful demonstration, did not know that the Church is strongly in love with the army.”
The lawyer was possibly referring to Tawadros’ remarks during a religious ceremony earlier this year in which he told his followers that he is in a “strong love with the military.”