The Egyptian authorities must offer urgent protection to Coptic Christians in North Sinai and provide essential services and accommodation to hundreds who were forced to flee their homes, after seven people from the community were killed in a series of attacks there over the past month, said Amnesty International.
The government has failed to take action to protect Christians in North Sinai who have increasingly faced kidnapping and assassinations by armed groups over the past three years. The authorities have also failed to prosecute those responsible for sectarian attacks against Christians elsewhere in Egypt, resorting instead to state-sponsored reconciliation agreements which, at times, have involved the forced eviction of Christian families from their homes.
At least 150 Coptic Christian families have fled al-Arish as a result of the latest violence according the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs. Most have sought shelter in the neighbouring governorate of Ismailia in overcrowded temporary accommodation without adequate access to essential services.