News / Africa

Report: Mubarak Complicit in Protest Deaths, Excessive Force Used

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (File)
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (File)

An official Egyptian investigation into the 18-day uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak holds the former leader responsible for hundreds of civilian deaths and concludes that police used excessive force against pro-democracy protesters.

Tuesday's report, by a state-appointed fact-finding mission, said 846 protesters were killed in the violence - a death toll more than twice that of previous official estimates.  Twenty-six policemen were also killed in the unrest.

The mission held Mr. Mubarak ultimately responsible for the killing of protesters because his interior minister, Habib el-Adly, had issued the orders for security services to fire on them using live ammunition.  El-Adly and four other senior officers are already facing trial on accusations of killing protesters during the uprising.  Mr. Mubarak is also being investigated on the same charges.

The report said police had used live ammunition as well as rubber bullets and water cannon against demonstrators, and had intentionally driven armored vehicles into the crowd, killing many.  It cited one officer who testified he was given orders to fire at protesters.

The Reuters news agency quotes an Egyptian rights group as saying the report - the first official account of the mass demonstrations - will help the state prosecutor bring many former officials to justice, one of the protesters' central demands.

The mission's panel of judges said the fact that many of those killed were shot in the chest and the head indicated the government had used snipers.  They said hundreds of wounded civilians had lost their sight due to eye injuries from gunshots.

Among the report's other conclusions is evidence suggesting that security officials orchestrated prison breaks to destabilize the country in the face of growing mass protests.  It said that in some cases, guards fired into the air and used tear gas to force prisoners to escape.

The report also said police officers were ordered to selectively withdraw from the streets while looting was underway to create chaos and instill fear among the population in order to thwart the protests.

Some information for these reports provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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