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Amnesty International: Egypt forces used lethal force

January 30, 2014 at 11:31 am

The representative of Amnesty International in Geneva, Peter Splinter, announced on Tuesday that 1089 people were killed in the period between 14 and 18 August during the operation to disperse protestors at Rabaa Al-Adawiyya square and Al-Nahda square.

He added that the Egyptian security forces killed many of the protesters using “lethal, excessive, disproportionate and unjustified force.”

The human rights organization urgently demanded an independent investigation into the killings and the violations against freedom of expression and assembly, as well as into claims of torture. Amnesty charges that the deposition of President Mohammed Morsi last July launched a wave of excessive political violence, and that the Egyptian security forces have failed to prevent attacks against Christians.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has also renewed calls on Monday for an independent investigation into the killings, and is asking for a team to be sent to Egypt to assess the situation, adding that “the way to achieve stability in Egypt lies in its ability to comprehensively establish the rule of law, which includes the recognition of all Egyptians, regardless of their political views, gender, religion or their status as a legitimate stakeholders in the future of their country.”

Military courts

Meanwhile, on Monday four non-governmental human rights organizations in Egypt condemned the trial of civilians before military courts on charges related to violations against soldiers. The organizations reported 60 such cases against activists since the deposition of President Morsi.

The Egyptian Initiative for Human Rights, the “No to Military Trials for Civilians” campaign and two other organizations have demanded a new trial for 52 defendants who were convicted last week in Suez.

Last Tuesday a military court sentenced a member of the Muslim Brotherhood to life imprisonment, and three others to jail for 15 years. 48 were sentenced to prison terms ranging from five to ten years on charges of violations against the military. On the very same day, interim Prime Minister Adly Mansour denied that civilians are being tried before military courts in his first television interview since taking office two months ago.