On the first anniversary of the Maspero massacre, the relatives of the dead, who were either shot or crushed to death by army Armored Personnel Carriers, are still waiting for justice after a year of legal proceedings stemming from two cases, one of which witnessed victims’ lawyers withdraw from the case and the other which saw protesters being put on trial.
Not one soldier has been charged over the killing of the 12 protesters shot during the violence. Several civilians, including protestors, bystanders and one activist, were charged with the killings. The trial was widely regarded as a farce, and all were eventually exonerated.
Gunfire was audible as soon as the march reached the Maspero building. Even as protesters were fleeing batons, bullets and marauding army APCs that crushed 15 people to death, the media was reporting that “Coptic protesters” were attacking Egypt’s armed forces and had killed soldiers.
Gangs of civilians took to the streets surrounding Maspero and detained anyone they suspected of being Christian.
A total of 33 people were arrested on the night of 9 October and the early hours of 10 October. Of these, two were Muslim: a young person with mental disabilities and a man in his 60s.