Local bishop says police are ineffective against problem
Ehab Karam, a Coptic Christian, was killed on Tuesday in the province of Assiut, Upper Egypt, after he was abducted by unknown persons, probably for ransom. Karam, who had a dental practice in the town of el-Badari, had been stopped by the kidnappers while he was going home.
The scourge of kidnapping perpetrated against members of the Coptic community continues to claim victims throughout Egypt, with a concentration in Upper Egypt and in particular in the region of Assiut, where in some villages on the banks of the Nile, Christians in the past were also sometimes forced to pay sums of money "in advance" under the threat of violent reprisals. Last February, Egyptian security forces had carried out a large-scale operation in the city of Assiut to dismantle an organized crime network that for months had been organizing kidnappings, robberies and extortion against the local Coptic community.
"Unfortunately, the phenomenon continues and there are no signs of improvement," said the Coptic Catholic Bishop of Assiut, Kyrillos William. "Police operations are episodic and ineffective; they are unable to solve the problem."