Copts Renew Complaints Against Egyptian Press
In an echo of an earlier newspaper scandal, a lawyer working for Egypt’s Coptic Christians on Saturday told the prosecutor general’s office that the Sawt Al Ummah newspaper was publishing false accounts that defamed members of the minority group living abroad.
Mamdouh Nakhleh said the Cairo-based newspaper’s latest issue contained a report alleging that thousands of Egyptian Copts had secured political asylum in the US by claiming that their daughters and wives had been raped by Muslims.
Nakhleh told Albawaba.com that the story lacked sources and was completely untrue.
“I’m positive the article is baseless, and I made sure of it by contacting a lot of Copts living in California,” the lawyer said.
The lawyer said he had not yet decided whether to file a case against the newspaper, adding that he had notified the prosecutor general about the case in order to give Sawt Al Ummah an opportunity to publish a correction along with his response to the article.
“If the paper won’t do it, I’ll file a suit based on documents I’ve already prepared,” the lawyer said.
In a similar scandal, the Copts, who make up about 16 percent of Egypt’s population, took offense at a report published last month by the tabloid Al Nabaa.
Young Copts in Cairo and Upper Egypt rioted after reading the article, which graphically described the sexual antics of an alleged monk who supposedly ran a sex-and-blackmail ring out of a monastery.
The tabloid editor in chief was taken to court on charges of insulting Christianity and was subsequently expelled from the Egyptian Press Association. In addition, his paper’s license was withdrawn.
The story, which was accompanied by photos of a man who turned out to be an ex-monk long expelled from the church, was revealed as a hoax – Albawaba.com