Egyptian sentenced to death for murder of Christian doctor

An Egyptian man affiliated with Daesh was sentenced to death Saturday in the fatal stabbing of an 82-year-old Christian doctor in Cairo in Sept. 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 18 November 2018

Egyptian sentenced to death for murder of Christian doctor

CAIRO: An Egyptian man affiliated with Daesh was sentenced to death Saturday in the fatal stabbing of an 82-year-old Christian doctor in Cairo in Sept. 2017.
The assailant, identified as 40-year-old Hassan G., pretended to be a patient to gain access to the doctor, identified as Dr. Tharwat. Once admitted to the clinic’s examination room he began stabbing the elderly doctor. When the doctor’s assistant, Susan K., attempted to intervene, she was also stabbed.
During the trial, prosecutors said the defendant had embraced the extremist ideology of Daesh.
At the time of the incident, the Ministry of Interior reported that the defendant’s motivation was believed to be financial. He was unemployed and facing financial difficulties and intended to rob the doctor, it was believed.
Saturday’s verdict will be sent to the Grand Mufti, Egypt’s top Muslim cleric, for ratification. While the Grand Mufti’s opinions are not binding, he is customarily asked to review death sentences and his recommendation is often followed.
Also on Saturday, another Egyptian court sentenced one Egyptian to death and six others to 10 years in prison. The defendants had appealed a similar Dec. 2016 sentence over an attack on policemen and soldiers north of Cairo; most attacks on police, military and civilians in Egypt over the last few years have been claimed by the Daesh.
Daesh, which has gained a foothold in the remote areas of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, has vowed to target Egypt’s Christian minority in retaliation for their support of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
In early November, Daesh claimed credit for an attack on a bus carrying Christian pilgrims outside the Monastery of St. Samuel that left seven dead and wounded 19 – in nearly the same location that another attack killed 28 pilgrims in May 2017. In response, the Ministry of Interior announced two days later that 19 “militants” linked to the attack had been killed.
Elected in 2014, El-Sisi has cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic groups since coming to power after Muslim Brotherhood ex-President Muhammad Mursi was removed from power in the summer of 2013. Mursi’s ouster came after mass protests calling for the removal of the Muslim Brotherhood. Daesh blames El-Sisi for the ensuing crackdown on Mursi’s followers.
The Coptic Orthodox leadership and many other Christians supported El-Sisi in the wake of Mursi’s ouster, hoping he could protect them against violent attacks by Islamists.
Groups affiliated with Daesh have claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against Christians in the four years since El-Sisi’s election. In 2015, the group posted a video of the beheading of a dozen Christian Egyptians in Libya.
In December 2016, a suicide bomber killed 29 in an attack on St. Mark’s Cathedral compound in Cairo. Daesh took credit for killing nearly 80 Egyptian Christians and wounding over 150 in 2017 in two Palm Sunday bombings and attacks on buses carrying Christians. Last month, an Egyptian military court sentenced 17 to death for the fatal attacks.


Turkey’s daily COVID-19 patients top 2,000, at early-May levels

Updated 2 min 45 sec ago

Turkey’s daily COVID-19 patients top 2,000, at early-May levels

  • Turkey imposed weekend lockdowns, restricted intercity travel and closed restaurants and cafes earlier this year

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s daily number of new coronavirus cases surpassed 2,000 on Monday, reaching levels last seen in early May when restrictions on businesses and households were in place.
Data from the Health Ministry showed another 2,026 people with COVID-19 symptoms had been diagnosed, as Ankara continues to report only symptomatic cases.
The ministry changed the wording on its daily reports from “cases” to “patients” on July 29. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said the daily number includes only those who show symptoms.
The ministry had said earlier that 1,958 patients were diagnosed on Monday but later updated the data.
There were 2,253 cases on May 6.
The total number of patients stood at 349,519 as of Monday, the data showed.
Data also showed 75 people had died in the last 24 hours, also the highest daily level since early May, raising the total death toll to 9,371.
Turkey imposed weekend lockdowns, restricted intercity travel and closed restaurants and cafes earlier this year to slow the spread of the virus.
Almost all restrictions were lifted in June. The government has since enforced measures such as social distancing and wearing masks, and has imposed fines on those who break rules.
Turkey’s top medical association and the main opposition party have criticized the government’s decision to only disclose the number of symptomatic patients.