Thu | Jan 18, 2018

Egypt drops case against mob that attacked Christian woman

Published:Monday | January 16, 2017 | 12:00 AM


Egyptian prosecutors have thrown out a case brought by an elderly Christian woman against several members of a Muslim mob who stripped off her clothes and paraded her naked through the streets, her lawyer said yesterday.

Last May's assault in the central Minya province began after rumours spread that the son of the 70-year-old woman had an affair with a Muslim woman - a taboo in majority Muslim and conservative Egypt.

Saturday's decision by the prosecutors cited lack of sufficient evidence, according to the lawyer, Eihab Ramzy. Another case against the alleged perpetrators of the violence, which also targeted Christian homes, remains ongoing.

The woman, Souad Thabet, told a US-based Christian TV station that she and her family are unable to return home to this day because of threats by Muslim extremists in the village. Ramzy said local authorities have pressed the family to reconcile with Muslims in the village.

"It's a calamity," Ramzy told The Associated Press about the prosecutors' decision to throw out the case. "The preliminary investigation heard testimonies supporting her account from family members and policemen at the scene."

At the time of the attack, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi called for the culprits to be held accountable and gave the military a month to restore property damaged during the violence, at no cost to the owners.