Published: 13:15 GMT Standard Time - Tuesday 01 November 2011
Christian teenager killed at school in Egypt for displaying cross
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Egypt
A Christian teenager was beaten to death by Muslim classmates at their school in Egypt after he refused to conceal his cross tattoo and necklace.
Ayman Nabil Labib (17) was described as a “Martyr of the Cross”
Image source: www.aina.org
Ayman Nabil Labib (17) was set upon after his Muslim teacher told him to cover up the cross tattoo on his wrist; he refused and instead boldly displayed another cross that he was wearing under his clothes.
His parents said that their son was murdered in “cold blood”; first Ayman’s teacher nearly choked the teenager in the classroom, and then some Muslim students joined in the beating. Ayman fled to the toilets, where the assault continued. He died at the scene.
The incident happened on 16 October at a school in Mallawi, Minya province. After the teenager’s funeral, over 5,000 Christians marched through the streets of Mallawi, denouncing the murder of Ayman, whom they described as a “Martyr of the Cross”, as well as other killings of Christians in Egypt.
Two Muslim students have been arrested in connection with Ayman’s death and have been detained pending further investigations in the murder case. Ayman’s father said that the senior investigating officer had tried to influence the witnesses, claiming that the murder took place as a result of friction between the students. And he said that the parents of students at the school had not allowed their children to give statements to the police, fearing harassment from the school administration and the families of the two Muslim students who have been arrested.
The governor of Minya, El-Rouby, has suspended the head teacher, two supervisors and two social workers who were on duty when Ayman died; they have all been referred to an investigation committee.
Ayman’s father has called for the teacher, head teacher and supervisors to be charged for their part in the incident or failure to act to stop it.