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Amnesty International exposes Egyptian official disinformation

February 8, 2014 at 2:13 am

A spokesman for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, Badr Abdel Atti, has admitted that the country’s foreign minister, Nabil Fahmi, had misquoted an Amnesty International report. He described the incident an “inadvertent mistake.” The minister had previously referred to an Amnesty report claiming that the organization did confirm “the presence of heavy weapons” in Rabea Al Adawiya Square, east of Cairo. Anti-coup protesters have been rallying in the square for the past 42 days.

Ambassador Abdel Atti made his remarks to the Anadolu News Agency saying, “The minister was discussing cases of torture against pro-Morsi supporters in Rabea Al Adawiya Square, during an interview with the BBC on Tuesday when he cited the Amnesty International report. The report collected testimonies from Pro-Morsi supporters who claimed they had been tortured. The minister alleged the organization’s report mentioned evidence of heavy weapons at the Square. However the truth is that the report issued on August 2 only mentioned torture cases. The minister’s unintentional mistake had been corrected in a statement.”

Following the minister’s interview with the BBC, Amnesty International, the London-based organization, issued a statement on its web site yesterday. The statement refuted the Egyptian Foreign Minister’s remarks purporting that the organization has evidence of heavy weapons inside Rabea Al Adawiya Square.

Meanwhile, despite statements made by the Egyptian authorities reaffirming their resolve to disperse the pro-Morsi sits-in, political experts have unanimously doubted whether the interim government would make such a move during the Eid al-Fitr holidays, which began on Thursday and ends officially on Sunday.