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Egypt: Ninth anniversary of Maspero Massacre

Egyptians light a candle in remembrance of those who were killed when security forces violently crushed a Coptic Christian demonstration in front of the state television (Maspero) building in Cairo on 9 October 2013 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images]
Egyptians light a candle in remembrance of those who were killed when security forces violently crushed a Coptic Christian demonstration in front of the state television (Maspero) building in Cairo on 9 October 2013 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images]

Today marks the ninth anniversary since the Maspero Massacre, when over 20 Copts were murdered in front of the Egyptian state TV headquarters by Egyptian military personnel.

On 9 October 2011 Copts marched to the Maspero television building to protest against the authorities' failure to hold the people who attack churches in the country accountable.

The peaceful march was spurred on after a recent burning of a church in Aswan.

Instead of responding to their demands, armoured, military APCs drove through the crowd, crushing the demonstrators under their treads. Soldiers fired into the crowds and state media incited against the protesters.

Copts have been denied the right to commemorate the Maspero Massacre under the controversial Protest Law.

READ: PTSD. Anxiety. Nightmares: Life after prison for Egypt's child detainees

Despite government rhetoric in support of Egypt's Coptic community, critics have said they fare worse under the current government than any of its predecessors.

Copts find it hard to join football teams and are excluded from joining intelligence branches and state security.

The government does little to protect Christians from mob attacks. All these years since the Maspero Massacre, security forces still target protests led by Egyptian Copts.

In May, forces arrested 14 Copts and assaulted a priest in Beheira who were protesting against the destruction of their church in the village of Kom Al-Darah in Abdul Haq.

Security personnel went to Copts' houses and confiscated their national identification cards. In Egypt, ID cards specifically state your religion.

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