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Suspects in Hate Crime Against Minya Coptic Christian Woman Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison

June 16, 2021
Soad Thabet, a Coptic Christian citizen of Minya, was the victim of hate crime and sexual violence in 2016 when an angry mob of Muslim villagers attacked her, stripped and paraded her naked in the streets during one of the worst episodes of sectarian violence in Egypt’s recent history.

The Minya Criminal Court has sentenced 10 defendants to five years in prison each for their role in a wave of hate crimes committed against the Coptic Christian community in 2016 in the village of Korm in Abu Qurqas. The ruling, issued yesterday Tuesday the 16th of June, also acquitted 14 others due to insufficient evidence tying them to the crimes, which included acts of violence, vandalism and arson attacks against the Coptic Christian citizens of Abu Qurqas, Minya.

The violence broke out in May 2016 in the village of Korm following rumors of an interfaith affair between a Muslim woman and a Coptic Christian man, Attiya Daniel. Daniel’s mother, Soad Thabet, was targeted by angry mobs of Muslim villagers who dragged her out of her home, assaulted her, stripped her and paraded her naked in the streets.

Thabet’s assailants have yet to face justice, however. In December 2020, the Minya Criminal Court acquitted three men who were allegedly involved in the brutal attack against Thabet who was 66 at the time of the incident.

Shortly after their acquittal last year, which prompted public outrage and harsh criticism from the human rights community, Egypt’s Public Prosecutor announced that his office would look into the possibility of appealing the controversial verdict.

In a Facebook statement, Sherif Adeeb, the lawyer representing Thabet in these legal proceedings, said that two of her assailants were among those sentenced yesterday, adding that his client’s case has now been brought before the Court of Cassation for further adjudication.

Speaking to Egyptian media platform Masrawy, Soad commented on yesterday’s verdict, saying, “the ruling issued was in connection to the arson attacks case, but my case still doesn’t have a court date yet. I trust that God will give me justice because He doesn’t accept injustice.”

Also commenting on the verdict was Maya Morsy, the head of Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW), who tweeted, “thank God for justice, the truth has been revealed in the Korm case … Respects to the Public Prosecutor for appealing the previous ruling and retrying the case, respects to everyone who gave honest testimony, respects to a fair judiciary that doesn’t accept injustice.” Addressing Thabet in her tweet, she wrote, “the wrong done to you has been righted. Do not grieve.”

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