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Amnesty International statement condemns ‘state violence’ and ‘widespread repression’ in Egypt - Daily News Egypt

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Amnesty International statement condemns ‘state violence’ and ‘widespread repression’ in Egypt

Human rights watchdog calls for interim authorities to “loosen their stranglehold on civil society”

A strongly worded statement released by Amnesty International Wednesday condemns interim authorities’ physical and legal attacks against opposition forces as well as the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

The statement, which was released just two days before the 25 January Revolution’s third anniversary, claims that “Egyptian authorities are using every resource at their disposal to quash dissent and trample on human rights”.

Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International says: “Egypt has witnessed a series of damaging blows to human rights and state violence on an unprecedented scale over the last seven months,” adding that “the demands of the 25 January Revolution for dignity and human rights seem further away than ever.”

The statement cites the recent Protest Law signed by interim president Adly Mansour, and the government’s designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation as creating an environment for further repression.

“With such measures in place, Egypt is headed firmly down the path towards further repression and confrontation. Unless the authorities change course and take concrete steps to show they respect human rights and the rule of law, starting with the immediate and unconditional release of prisoners of conscience, Egypt is likely to find its jails packed with unlawful detained prisoners and its morgues and hospitals [filled] with yet more victims of arbitrary and abusive force by its police,” Sahraoui said.

The statement also comes on the heels of a constitutional referendum, which interim authorities hail as a stepping stone to a country that Mansour says “respects freedom, democracy and makes rights and justice a way of work and life”.

Amnesty’s statement questions this claim: “The Egyptian government will be judged by its actions, not its words. Verbal reassurances will ring hollow if repression on the ground is increasing and a mere tweet can lead you to prison.” This is an apparent reference to liberal intellectual Amr Hamzawy, who, along with two dozen others, is being charged with “insulting the judiciary.”

“The authorities must loosen their stranglehold on civil society and allow peaceful protests and other avenues for lawful dissent. Their current policies are a betrayal of all the aspirations for bread, freedom and social justice of the 25 January Revolution,” Sahraoui said.

Amnesty’s statement also condemns the seemingly constant violence that has taken place since Morsi’s ouster on 3 July. The report specifically cites the government’s forced dispersal of the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in in August.

“No proper investigation has been carried out into the deaths of more than 500 Morsi supporters when excessive force was used to disperse [the] sit-in,” the statement reads. “Not a single member of the security forces has been charged in connection with the incident which was a callous bloodbath on an unprecedented scale.”

The human rights watchdog calls for the interim authorities to be accountable for their security forces and the harms that they may commit, claiming that the absence of justice for the killed protesters leads to a “cycle of abuse will only be broken when the rule of law applies to all, regardless of their rank and political affiliations.”

The statement also warns the interim authorities against using a real terrorist insurgency, undertaken by Ansar Beit Al-Maqdes and other armed groups in the Sinai Peninsula, to justify oppression and a lack of human rights for the country’s citizens.

Thousands of Morsi supporters have been arrested since the 3 July ouster, including women and children, the statement claims. Hundreds of students have been arrested at universities and a number of them have been killed. The report cites one specific case, that of Mohamed Reda, a 19 year-old engineering student that was shot and killed when police fired birdshot at students inside the university’s campus.

The statement also condemns recent attacks on journalists and raids on non-governmental organisations. “There is a concerted effort underway to squeeze out any independent observers from activists, to journalists to nongovernmental organisations. This is a deliberate attempt to make it more difficult for them to operate in Egypt and continue their work documenting and reporting on state abuses,” said Sahraoui.

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  • twinkle


    Fact is that none of these “human rights organization” and media managed to prevent civil wars. Our military on the other hand prevented Egypt form turning into another Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan or even Pakistan. We couldn’t care less about what these fishy human organization or the media has to say about Egypt. It’s in Egypt’s best interest to completely destroy these terrorists.

    Human Rights Watch lied and said that the Syrian regimes used chemical weapons when all evidence and even accounts of some victims showed that it was the “rebels’ who used these chemical weapons.

    Amnesty International condemned Egyptian authorities for cracking down on terrorists Muslim Brotherhod, al Qaeda and Hamas. We couldn’t care less about what Amnesty has to say either. . The MB are Egypt’s enemy and they are waging a war against us what do you expect us to do?? pat them on the back?.

  • twinkle

    The Muslim Brotherhood are the ones who started the shooting. They filled their tents and rented apartments in rabaa adawyea with heavy weapons. The first ones who got shot and killed were policemen. The MB always made threats against Egypt, they said that they will start a war if we don’t bring back morsi. During the presidential election they said that if Shafik wins, they will set Egypt on fire. The MB themselves admit that they are terrorists.
    The intelligence service also recorded a conversation between zawahry al Qaeda leader Morsi and it shows that al Qaeda with the MB the plotted the murder of 16 Egyptian in Sinai in 2011 during Ramadan while they were having their iftar.

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  • twinkle

    a country’s stability depends on the power rank of a military. Egypt has the 14th most powerful army in the world, which means that it is at least strong enough to shake off those who want to destabilize Egypt If it wasn’t for our great military Egypt would be Iraq right now.

    Some are angry because the Egyptian military is powerful and protects Egypt’s interest this prevents those with a different agenda from accomplishing what they want

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  • mino nino

    Why is it that the same organization is overlooking repression and aggression acts against protesters in Turkey? Is amnesty rented or is it working just to disfigure the enemies of whoever is paying for them?!!!!!!!!!

  • Elwi Ali Helal

    You know what, Egyptians are tired of trying to prove their acts to the world. The world in particular the US is not seeing eye to eye with them, and it is an exhausting.

    you dont speak fairly of the events taking place in Egypt.

    You and Obama administration are looking after the rights of the terrorist group of Muslim brother but the rest of the Egyptian civilian ,army and police have no rights

    When the hired demonstrators by Muslim brother destroy the Public and private properties , terrifying people killing and carrying out all terrorist acts We dont hear any condemnation or see any reports Have not u see those kids who killed by Muslim brother demonstrators havent u see the demonstrators attack and killed army and police members and equipment
    Everyday u prove that you are not human rights org but an american tools Cause hard to believe u support a terrorist group who is the origin of all radical islamic terrorist groups

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