The Supreme Court in Egypt's capital Cairo. (Photo: Rachid H via Flickr; CC 2.0)
The Supreme Court in Egypt’s capital, Cairo. (Photo: Rachid H via Flickr; CC 2.0)

An Egyptian court sentenced a man to death last Saturday, 17 November, for the killing of an 80-year-old Christian doctor in Cairo in September last year, reports The Associated Press.

The 40-year-old assailant, whose identity remains undisclosed, entered the doctor’s office in the Egyptian capital pretending to be a patient, prosecutors said.

Once he was in the examination room, the defendant repeatedly stabbed the doctor and also turned on his assistant when she tried to intervene.

According to prosecutors, the man upheld the ideology of the Islamic State group, which in February 2017 vowed to wipe out Egypt’s Coptic Christians and “liberate Cairo”.

On Friday 2 November, gunmen affiliated with Islamic State targeted a bus of Coptic Christians returning from a monastery in Egypt. Seven people, including two children, were killed and a dozen others injured.

Egypt’s interior ministry reported two days later that it had killed 19 Islamist militants suspected of carrying out the attack, which took place at almost exactly the same location as a May 2017 bus attack that left 28 dead.

Egypt’s Copts, who make up about 10 per cent of the population, have been seen as supporters of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and the 2013 ousting of his Islamist-linked predecessor Mohamed Morsi.