Amnesty International strongly condemns the bomb attack perpetrated in the early hours of 1 January 2011 which targeted worshippers at a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria, killing 23 and injuring scores of others during a New Year midnight service. Amnesty International is calling on the Egyptian authorities to take comprehensive measures to protect Coptic Christians ahead of their celebration of Christmas on 7 January 2011. The bombing targeted the al-Qidissin (the Saints) Church in the area of Sidi Basher in the city of Alexandria. While no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, the authorities have said it is the result of a suicide bombing linked to al-Qa’ida and they are holding seven suspects for questioning in connection with the blast.
Amnesty International’s thoughts and sympathy are first and foremost with those who have become the victims of this attack. The organization condemns all deliberate attacks against civilians, which can never be justified under any circumstances. Such attacks are absolutely prohibited under international law and show a complete disregard for the right to life.