Egyptian security forces used live ammunition to break up demonstrations on October 6, according to an Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] report [text] released Monday. According to AI, more than 49 people were killed and hundreds injured in the Egyptian capitol of Cairo. The report was based on first-hand interviews of witnesses and health officials collected by AI representatives in the aftermath of the crackdown. Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, AI's Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, condemned actions by the Egyptian military:
Although some pro-Morsi protesters threw rocks, burned tyres and used fireworks or other incendiaries against security forces and local residents, the security forces - once again -resorted to the use of lethal force when it was not strictly necessary. Excessive use of force seems to have become the ‘normal’ modus operandi of Egyptian security forcesAccording to the advocacy group, more than 30 people were killed in the Al-Dokki district of Greater Cairo after security forces fired tear gas, shotguns and live ammunition into crowds of pro-Morsi supporters attempting to reach Tahrir square. AI has called for a full, impartial and independent investigation into the events on October 6.
Although Egypt has faced political unrest since the Egyptian Revolution [JURIST backgrounder] began over two years ago, the conflict peaked in July after the military deposed president Mohamed Morsi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], suspended the nation's constitution and installed an interim government. Last week an Egyptian court set the trial date [JURIST report] for the Morsi for November 4. Along with Morsi, 14 other leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], including Essam el-Erian and Mohammed el-Beltagy, will be tried [AP report] on the same day. Earlier this month the Muslim Brotherhood filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] appealing a court verdict [JURIST report] ordering the interim government to seize the group's assets.