HRW calls for international inquiry into mass killings by Egypt security forces

[JURIST] Egyptian security forces killed more than 1,150 demonstrators in July and August 2013, Human RIghts Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] reported [text] Tuesday. The year-long investigation documented instances where Egyptian police and military forces used deadly force on crowds of demonstrators opposed to the ousting of President of Mohamed Morsy. The report calls on the UN Human Rights Council to establish an international commission of inquiry to investigate the mass killings of demonstrators since June 30, 2013, and for criminal charges to be brought against members of the security forces that perpetrated the acts. The report details allegations that security forces killed between 800 and 1,000 protesters during the August 14 dispersal of the Rab'a al-Adawiya sit-in. Kenneth Roth, executive director of HRW, called [HRW report] the breakup "one of the world's largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history... [It] wasn't merely a case of excessive force or poor training. It was a violent crackdown planned at the highest levels of the Egyptian government. Many of the same officials are still in power in Egypt, and have a lot to answer for." The HRW report strongly condemns Egyptian authorities, pointing out the failure to hold a singe police or army officer accountable for any of the killings, and the continued repression of dissent.

The Egyptian military and new government have heavily cracked down on supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, having jailed approximately 15,000 individuals since his ouster in July 2013. Last week the Supreme Administrative Court in Egypt dissolved [JURIST report] the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) [party website], the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood [JURIST news archive]. Also in August the Giza Criminal Court upheld death sentences against 12 members of the Muslim Brotherhood convicted of murdering former Deputy Director of Giza Security Nabil Farrag. In July an Egyptian appeals court overturned [JURIST report] the one-year jail sentence of previous Islamist president Mohamed Morsi's former prime minister Hisham Qandil.

 

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