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Implications for Religious Minorities
Implications for Rights and Freedoms

Two Saints Church Case

Court / Presiding Judge

Alexandria Administrative Court

Procedural History

The last reported court hearing was on January 14, 2016. No information regarding the next court session has been located at present.

Verdict

Case technically still pending, though no information on next court date was available at the time of writing.

Summary of Reasoning

The case dates back to the bombing of the Two Saints Church in Alexandria on December 31, 2010, which led to the death of 20 Coptic worshippers and the injury of at least 100. The case was filed on behalf of the families of the victims to compel the Ministry of Interior to file the paperwork in its investigation. The lack of action on the part of the Ministry of Interior has prevented the incident from being thoroughly investigated and, ultimately, litigated.

Anecdotal Notes

This case was initially brought before the Court for Urgent Matters in 2011, but was transferred to the Administrative Court because of the earlier court’s finding for a lack of jurisdiction. Various theories about the failure of the state to provide justice in the case of the Two Saints Church bombing has pointed to either (1) a significant failure of the security apparatus and its criminal investigation capabilities or (2) the complicity of the security apparatus in the bombing itself, including Habib al-Adly, who was minister of interior at the time of the attack.

Legal & Judicial Implications

As one of the most significant cases involving Christian victims in Egypt, the failure of the state to provide an adequate investigation and prosecution of the incident represents a serious failing on the part of investigating authorities, but also more broadly reflects an inability of the state to protect the rights of its religious minorities, thus raising serious questions regarding Egypt’s constitutional and international legal obligations.