In a statement released Saturday, the Union of the Maspero Victims’ Families (UMVF) denied any relation with the Maspero Youth Union; the most active Coptic union demanding justice for the victims of last October’s Maspero massacre.
The UMVF warned against dealing with the Maspero Union Youth, describing it as a “corrupt and suspicious.” They also accused the union of gathering donations from Copts inside and outside of Egypt on the victims’ behalf, setting up bank accounts and urging people to donate, but not handing the money over to the victims’ families.
“We urge all media outlets to spread this warning,” the statement read, “we also assure that …the victims’ families will file reports with the public prosecutor in order to hold them legally accountable.”
“One victim’s relative came to me crying, saying he can no longer stand people’s comments,” said Jan Girgis, the brother of one Maspero victim and member of the UMVF, explaining that the donation-raising activities of the Maspero Youth Union is causing the victims’ families social embarrassment.
“All we got were EGY 1000 per family,” Girgis said, assuring that he doesn’t know where the rest of the donations are. “I personally didn’t get a single piaster.”
Girgis recalled that the night after the massacre, he faced several problems filing court cases, finding no help or assistance whatsoever from the Maspero Youth Union.
“My brother was butchered, run-over and shot at during the massacre,” Girgis said, “and they weren’t by my side when I needed help the most; they didn’t even offer their condolences.”
Girgis mentioned an incident when he overheard one Maspero Youth Union member, Evon Mosaad, talking on the phone to ex-military police leader, Hamdy Badeen, telling him he was a source of “goodness and blessings.”
For her part, Mosaad denied the Maspero Youth Union had ever collected donations on the UMVF’s behalf.
“We used to help anybody who wanted to offer assistance get in touch with the victims’ families,” Mosaad said. “Even the EGY 1000 each family received came from the Maspero Youth Union not donations.”
Mosaad claimed not to know the exact source of these EGP 1000.
“It’s their right to demand that nobody collects donations on their behalf; something we have never done,” Mosaad said.
She denied the Maspero Youth Union did not help the victim’s families.
“Who provided the families with lawyers to file the lawsuits?” she questioned, “who internationalised the Maspero massacre case? It was also through us that the victims’ families got to talk to the media and tell their stories.”
The feud between both unions comes only three days before the first anniversary of the Maspero massacre; a day when a peaceful Coptic march to the Maspero building turned violent after army officials fired at the protesters and ran them over with tanks, killing 28.
The UMVF announced a schedule for a memorial ceremony to be held on the anniversary of the massacre, 9 October. It is planned to be held in the Church of the Apostles Boutros and Boles, Abasseya. They stressed they shall not take part in the march organised by the Maspero Youth Union on the same day.
“We are organising a memorial for all Egypt’s victims,” Mosaad said, referring to the Youth Union’s march, “specifically the Maspero massacre’s victims, we shall demand justice for them.” Mosaad described the decision of victims’ families to boycott the Union’s march as due to their “fear and not wanting to be out on the streets.”