An administrative court in the Egyptian city of Alexandria has ordered the Interior Ministry to disclose findings of its investigations into a church bombing in the city five years ago.
The 2011 attack on the Two Saints Church occured on New Year’s Eve and resulted in the death of 23 people.
The court ruling overrules a decision by the ministry not to present details of its investigation to the national security prosecution, which is in charge of investigating terrorism incidents.
This is an unprecedented ruling, and even though the case has been ongoing for more than four years, it is an important step towards knowing what really happened.
“This is an unprecedented ruling, and even though the case has been ongoing for more than four years, it is an important step towards knowing what really happened,” Joseph Malak, the lawyer for the church told local news portal, Ahram Online.
According to Malak, the ruling was binding and the ministry’s only option was to abide by it.
The attack happened under the regime of deposed ruler, Hosni Mubarak who was accused at the time of failing to protect Egyptian Christians. Thousands took part in national unity protests in the capital, Cairo and in Alexandria, publicly criticising Mubarak and his government.
SUGGESTED READING Egypt signs a new law on church construction
The country’s parliament recently signed a law regulating the construction of churches, despite opposition by some members of the Christian community complaining of discrimination.
Copts in the north African country also complain about hostility of some conservative Muslims, who often oppose the presence of Christian places of worship in their village, especially in the rural areas of the South and centre of the country.
According to official statistics, Egypt has some 2,869 churches for a Coptic community, which represent nearly 10% of 90 million people.