HRW releases report on Egyptian human rights abuses

Published August 12th, 2014 - 02:50 GMT

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused senior Egyptian authorities of possible "crimes against humanity" during crackdowns on anti-government demonstrations last year, which left hundreds dead. 

"The killings not only constituted serious violations of international human rights, but likely amounted to crimes against humanity," the New York-based international non-governmental organization said in a report released on Tuesday.

On August 14, 2013, Egyptian security forces stormed two sit-ins organized by supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, in Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya and Nahda squares, resulting in what HRW termed "one of the largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history."

HRW said its report titled "All According to Plan: The Rabaa Massacre and Mass Killings of Protesters in Egypt" identifies Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, then defense minister Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and top security official Medhat Menshawy as senior leaders who should face proceedings for deadly crackdown at Rabaa al-Adawiya Square.

The organization said at least 817 demonstrators died due to the heavy-handed crackdown in Rabaa al-Adawiya Square.

HRW said Egyptian authorities have failed to prosecute any officer accountable for any of the killings, "much less any official responsible for ordering them."

"An international investigation and prosecutions of those implicated are needed... states should further suspend military and law enforcement aid to Egypt until it adopts measures to end its serious rights violations," HRW said.

Since Morsi’s ouster on July 3 last year, Egypt has been the scene of anti-government protests with continuous clashes between security forces and Morsi’s supporters.

Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, was toppled in a military coup led by Sisi.

Sisi is accused of leading the suppression of Muslim Brotherhood supporters as hundreds of them have been killed in clashes with Egyptian security forces over the last year.

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