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Coptic immigration forebodes demographic disaster: Egyptian lawyer

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Egyptian Christian lawyer Mamdouh Ramzi warned of the repercussions of the immigration of Copts outside Egypt for fear of persecution at the hands of the Islamist government.

“More than 100,000 Copts applied for immigration to the United States and Scandinavian countries,” he told Al Arabiya’s al-Hadath al-Masri (The Egyptian Event).

“The immigration of such large numbers of Copts constitutes a grave threat to Egypt’s demographic structure.”

The flood of immigration applications on the part of Egyptian Christians was paralleled with decrees welcoming them on the part of destination countries.

According to Essam Ebeid, head of the Coptic Association in the Netherlands, the Dutch Minister of Immigration issued a decree on June 11 allowing Copts persecuted in Egypt to seek asylum in the Netherlands.

“The Dutch government sees that the Egyptian government is not protecting its Coptic citizens and that is why this decree was issued,” he said.

The death of 24 Copts in clashes with the army in front of state TV in October 2011, Ebeid explained, was the main reason behind issuing the decree.

“Add to this a series of other incidents that were seen by the international community as discriminatory against Copts.”

For Medhat Kelada, head of the Union of Coptic Organizations in Europe, the Dutch degree is a stigma for the Islamists of Egypt and particularly President Mohammed Mursi for their inability to protect Coptic citizens.

Kelada slammed Mursi for pardoning several Islamists guilty of criminal charges while not doing the same for any of the Copts detained for political reasons or in the aftermath of sectarian incidents.

“What is happening during the time of Mursi is not different at all from what used to happen at the time of Mubarak.”

Kelada cited the example of Coptic families evicted from their houses following sectarian clashes in several Egyptian villages and about which several reports that reached the international community were written.