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Egyptian government must take immediate action to stop incitement to violence against Shi’a

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At least four Shi’a Muslims were killed by a mob in the village of Zawyat Abu Muslam in Giza governorate close to Cairo, on Sunday, including the well-known community figure Hassan Shehata.

“It is absolutely essential for the police to take immediate action to arrest those responsible for the killings. As the killings were carried out in front of a crowd, there were many witnesses”, stated Chris Chapman, Head of Conflict Prevention at Minority Rights Group International (MRG).

According to Egyptian media sources, Salafist Imams have been inciting hatred against Shi’a in the village for the last three weeks.

“There are Egyptian media channels which have been celebrating the killings of Shi’a in Giza governorate. The government must take immediate steps to stop hate speech in the media”, Hafez Abu Seada, Director of the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights, told MRG today.

Shi’a, who believe that the Prophet Muhammad’s son-in-law Ali succeeded him, fear that an article in the new Constitution of Egypt prohibiting insults against the Prophet will be used to restrict their freedom of religion.

Notes for editors

  • Minority Rights Group International is the leading international human rights organization working to secure the rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples. We work with more than 150 partners in over 50 countries.

For more information, contact the MRG Press Office on press@minorityrights.org.

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