European Union of Coptic organisations
Paris Declaration on November 8, 2008
For the establishment of the European Union of Coptic organisations
for Human Rights EUCOHR.
Members (organisations) attending in the European Union countries are:
France - Netherlands - Switzerland –Austria - Greece - Ireland - Hungary - Germany - Sweden - United Kingdom.
Based on the desire of the Coptic organisations in the ten countries mentioned and delegates who met in Paris, it had been agreed on the establishment of the European Union of Coptic organisations
The Union aims - inter alia - to:
1 - Support and propagate the principles of universal human rights as established in all international conventions.
2 - Work to help countries and regional organizations, member of the European Union in the implementation of international conventions to its citizens and the application of international standards of human rights.
3 - Call to implement the provisions of international treaties before national courts.
4 – Call upon the Egyptian government to sign the Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to allow individuals to submit complaints for the implementation of international treaties
5 - Call upon the Egyptian government to withdraw the general reservation on ratification of international treaties to remove the proviso “not to contradict Islamic Sharia principles” and on the implementation of the provisions of International Treaties on Civil and Political Rights
6 – To received complaints and provide legal assistance to victims of human rights violations, whether individuals or groups or organizations
7 - To promote the four requirements for the protection of the Copts:
A - Protection of the physical existence of Copts, as stated in the Convention on the Prevention of Genocide, the prevention of the Copts forced population transfers, the prevention of cultural annihilation of Copts, and the abandonment of the culture of genocide.
B - Call upon the Egyptian government to adopt non exclusion polices of Copts from public life particularly in the fields of politics and high government offices.
C – To work towards the integration of the Copts in the community with preservation of the Coptic identity and the abolition of forced assimilation caused by the dominance of Article II of Egyptian Constitution and the unfair application of the principles of subjugation of the Egyptian civil law to the Islamic sharia law.
D - Renunciation of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief in all areas of life, especially the judicial discrimination resulting in issuing unfair judgments against the Copts.
Union decided the following:
1 -- The establishment of administrative and legal basis and the registration of the European Union of Coptic organisations HR (General Assembly - Executive Committee - the Secretariat - Finance - The Union's objectives and how to achieve objectives - and how to accept the member organization and the individual and the withdrawal of membership and obligations of the member - and other matters)
- Union headquarters city of Geneva, Switzerland
- The headquarters of the Secretariat (secretariat) Netherlands
- Finance (Sweden)
- Election of Dr. Awad Shafiq, chairman of the Union
- Election of Dr. Ibrahim Habib, Vice-Chairman (England)
- Election of Mr. Medhat Kelada Chairman of the Executive Committee (Switzerland)
2 -- Union decided on the recommendation of the Executive Committee of the following:
1-2 - To provide legal assistance to Mrs. Camilla Lutfi on the forced Islamisation of her children, Andrew and Mario which was enforced by judicial court ruling in Egypt.
2-2 - Seeks to bring the real perpetrators of violence, armed attacks and torture carried out against the monks of Abu Fana monastery, Egypt where the monks were tortured in an attempt to renounce their Christian faith by forcing them under torture to pronounce Islamic Faith Creed.
3-2 - demanding the rapid and immediate release of Fr. Mtawos Wehba the priest jailed for conducting a marriage ceremony for a Christian couple one of them was Muslim converted to Christianity.
The meeting was concluded at 5 pm the evening of Saturday, November 8, 2008
1 - Protocol to the closing meeting of the Union.
2 - The statute of the association (currently preparing the final form of the text for adoption by the General Assembly of the Federation)
3 - Rules of Procedure of the Executive Committee of the Federation (currently being prepared and finalized)
Translated by IHI.