Egyptian authorities have arrested 70 people in connection with protests in the village of Ezba in the Sohag governorate. The protests followed rumors that the Baha’is whose houses were burned down by mobs in the village of Sharoniyah three months ago, would be resettled in the village. The protesters gathered around the Ezba municipal offices, demanding to know the names of the people relocated to their village so they verify that they are not Baha’i. The demonstration persisted despite the governor’s promise that the 25 families relocated to the village are not Baha’i.

As we previously reported, following the attacks in Sharoniyah village where five houses of Baha’is were burned to the ground on March 30, 2009, 30 Baha’i families fled the village out of fear of additional attacks. The families who lost their homes were unable to return to the village. The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights reported to Reuters that no permanent homes were found for those families yet.