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17 on trial for post-Rabaa Al-Adaweya violence

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Prosecution accuses 17 individuals of killing six citizens in Alexandria the day after the August 2013 dispersals

A protester holds a banner reading in Arabic: "Alexandria is against the coup," in Alexandria on August 14, 2013 (AFP)

A protester holds a banner reading in Arabic: “Alexandria is against the coup,” in Alexandria on August 14, 2013 (AFP Photo)

The prosecutor general’s office announced Saturday the referral of 17 defendants to the Alexandria Criminal Court, charged with murder after the dispersal of Pro-Mohamed Morsi encampments in August 2013.

Six citizens were killed amid clashes which followed the dispersal of the pro-Morsi sit-ins in Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda in greater Cairo the day before.

The prosecution accused the defendants of a number of crimes including: murder; attempted murder; illegal assembly; blocking roads; stalling public transportation; “thuggery”; possession of firearms; bladed weapons and incendiary material; damaging private property; and joining an illegal organisation.

In a statement released Saturday, the prosecution said its investigation revealed that the Muslim Brotherhood had prepared retaliatory measures in reaction to the deadly dispersal of the sit-ins. Further accusations levelled at the 17 defendants include the killing of a Coptic Christian taxi driver during a pro-Morsi protest, then attacking citizens with firearms, bladed weapons, rocks and Molotov cocktails.

The prosecution’s statement cited the Forensic Authority’s report on the victims of the violence, which stated that all the victims were killed by firearms.

Ali Abdel Qader, a member of the defence team, said that security forces then raided the Engineers’ Club in Alexandria. During the raid at the Club, whose administration is known to be affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, 15 were “randomly” arrested, with two of the detainees later released. Abdel Qader denied that any of the 15 arrested were involved in the said protest.

On 23 May, Abdel Qader said security forces arrested three more accused of inciting the protests. The three included Muslim Brotherhood member and former parliamentarian, Al-Mohamedy Al-Sayed Ahmed.

According to Wiki Thawra, an independent website dedicated to documenting the Egyptian revolution, six civilians were killed in Alexandria on 15 August. One of those killed was in sectarian clashes, with a further five killed in clashes with security.

An updated death toll provided in November by the Forensics Authority spokesman Hisham Abdel Hameed stated that the official death toll for the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in was 627. Wiki Thawra reported a number of 969 for the sit-in, described by Human Rights Watch as“the most serious incident of mass unlawful killings in modern Egyptian history.”

The state-affiliated National Council for Human Rights released a report on the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in and its dispersal in March 2014. The report said that reprisal attacks on churches and police stations in 22 governorates which lasted for four days, left 686 killed, including 64 policemen.


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