CAIRO: Speculation around the death of a Christian young woman at a Muslim Brotherhood protest in Ain Shams last Friday are wide ranging, but despite numerous media reports there is still little known about who killed Mary Sameh George.
A man arrested for the killing of George said he had only helped transport her to the hospital, and was not responsible for her death, Youm7 reported Tuesday.
“I saw her lying on the floor so I rushed looking for transportation, and I took her to the hospital,” he said, according to Youm7.
Speculation about the manner in which George was killed ranges from her having been stabbed, or shot, perhaps after being dragged out of her car by protesters.
Questions around her death also relate back to George’s religion. Some in the Coptic Christian community have told the press they believe George was targeted because she was Christian.
An inconclusive case
Brotherhood protests and student demonstrations in Ain Shams have turned deadly in the past several months, following clashes with security forces.
George, journalist Mayada Ashraf, and three others were killed during protests and clashes last Friday, according to media reports.
The Forensic Medicine Authority found that Sameh died as a result of a gunshot to the chest, said authority spokeperson Hisham Abdel-Hamid in an interview with Tahrir TV on Sunday.
Ashraf was also killed by a gunshot, to her head, Hamid said. Accusations are also swirling around Ashraf’s killing, with the police and the Brotherhood each accusing each other.
“I believe the last news reported by Ashraf on the day of the clashes is that [Brotherhood members] were randomly shooting people… police are innocent from her blood,” Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim said at a press conference Sunday.
Mohammed Abdul-Naeem, head of the Egypt’s National Union of Human Rights Organizations, also accused the Brotherhood of attacking Ashraf, Al-Bawaba reported. But journalists blamed the police during a protest organized in front of the Press Syndicate Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the man accused of killing George is being investigated by prosecution authorities in Cairo, according to Youm7.
Killed for being Christian?
Naguib Gebrail, head of the Egyptian Union for Human Rights, said he doubts the Forensic Medicine Authority report stating that George died by gunshot.
He said witnesses “confirmed” George was stabbed and her body was mutilated, Al-Dostour reported on Sunday.
“As soon as they spotted the cross in her car, they attacked her, dragged her out of the car and savagely beat her, tearing her hair and undressing her. A masked man stabbed her in the neck,” said a man who claimed to have witnessed the incident on Mehwer TV on Saturday, referring to Brotherhood supporters as the attackers.
George’s father is also claiming that she is being denied the designation of “martyr” because she was Christian, in contrast to Ashraf, who was Muslim.
“She is as much a martyr as Mayada Ashraf is and I demand that she is given this honor,” her father said in a phone interview with ONtv on Monday.