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NGOs unite to condemn 25 January violence

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Human rights groups place blame on security forces for bloodiest day in months

Muslim Brotherhood supporters (background) clash with supporters of the Egyptian government in Cairo on January 25, 2014. Deadly clashes erupted in Egypt Saturday as rival demonstrations were held on the anniversary of the 2011 revolt that toppled Hosni Mubarak, underscoring the country's violent polarisation three years after the Arab Spring.  (AFP PHOTO/AHMED TARANH)

Muslim Brotherhood supporters clash with supporters of the Egyptian government in Cairo on January 25, 2014.

A coalition of nine Egyptian-based NGOs has come out to strongly condemn the 25 January violence at the hands of security forces that they say left at least 60 people dead, and more than 1,000 arrested.

“There is no doubt that this violence was inflicted specifically against demonstrations and gatherings opposed to the regime, deliberately and systematically, and cannot be justified by the law,” read the statement.

“Police used tear gas, birdshot and live bullets against opponents’ gatherings, but were protecting rallies supporting the military forces, even though sometimes, they were just a few metres away from each other.

Signatories to the statement include many high-profile rights groups, including The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, Hisham Mubarak Center for Law, The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, and Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights.

“The human rights organisations signing this statement condemn the use of violence by any party to achieve political ends… [and] demand the immediate release of all detainees arrest on the ground of exercising their rights to assembly and demonstration peacefully,”  read the statement.

Saturday, the third anniversary of the 25 January Revolution, was the single bloodiest day for protestors since 6 October.  The official numbers released by the Ministry of Health cite 49 killed, 247 wounded and over 1,079 arrested.

About the author

Aaron T. Rose

Aaron T. Rose is an American journalist in Cairo. Follow him on Twitter: @Aaron_T_Rose

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