A Coptic Christian man died on New Year’s Eve from a gunshot wound to the head after three hospitals in Cairo are reported to have turned him away.
Ihab Ghattas, 23, was shot outside Mar Girgis (St George’s) Church in the Ain Shams area of Cairo after celebrating mass. The Maspero Youth Union (MYU), a Coptic activist group, claims he was shot by a member of the Muslim Brotherhood following a protest outside the church by the Islamist group.
In a statement released on New Year’s Day, the MYU claimed that Ghattas died because of “negligence” on the part of the hospitals which refused to treat him.
Mideast Christian News (MCN) reports that Ghattas was denied access to one hospital because it was deemed not to be an emergency and another due to a lack of beds. The third hospital refused to treat him due to the absence of an intensive care unit, according to the MYU.
A fourth hospital, St. Peter’s in Heliopolis, admitted him but he died soon afterwards. The MYU said that by this stage he had been “bleeding for three hours”. The group has called for an investigation.
Muslim Brotherhood supporters were reported by MCN to have fired birdshot at St. George’s Church, after which a group of young people from the church, including Ghattas, had joined police in defending it.
Other protests reportedly took place across the country, but police used tear gas to disperse them.