The Egyptian Finance Minister, Dr Hazem Beblawi, has resigned from the government following the deaths of several Coptic Christians in Cairo, Egypt. Human Rights Watch reported that around 17 Coptic Christian protestors were apparently run over and killed by military vehicles in Cairo on 9th October 2011. It is thought that the dead had been demonstrating against attacks on Churches in Upper Egypt that have still not been fully investigated.
Australia’s Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, offered a sympathetic review of visa terms for Egyptians stuck in Australia and unable to return home:
“In light of the unfolding situation in Egypt, I want to assure Egyptians in Australia that my department will take the circumstances in their home country into account when dealing with requests for visa extensions,’ Mr Bowen said.
“I encourage all Egyptian nationals in Australia who are unable to fly home or are on temporary visas to contact DIAC on 131 881 as soon as possible.”
Egypt is scheduled to hold elections for the People’s Assembly and Shura Council starting at the end of November and end of January respectively, marking the beginning of a transition away from the military government.