News / Africa

    Rights Group Demands Inquiry into Deadly Egypt Soccer Violence

    Football fans try to leave the stadium as chaos erupts at a soccer stadium in Port Said city, Egypt, February, 1, 2012. Seventy-three people were killed and at least 1,000 injured on Wednesday after a soccer pitch invasion in the Egyptian city of Port Sai
    Football fans try to leave the stadium as chaos erupts at a soccer stadium in Port Said city, Egypt, February, 1, 2012. Seventy-three people were killed and at least 1,000 injured on Wednesday after a soccer pitch invasion in the Egyptian city of Port Sai

    Multimedia

    Audio
    • Clottey interview with Human Rights Watch’s Egypt researcher, Heba Morayef,

    Peter Clottey

    U.S.-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) is demanding an impartial and a comprehensive investigation into Wednesday’s stadium disaster that left at least 73 people dead and hundreds injured in Egypt following a soccer match.

    Both Egypt’s parliament and the state prosecutor have also demanded an inquiry into the violence at a stadium in the northern city of Port Said on the Mediterranean coast.

    Human Rights Watch’s Egypt researcher, Heba Morayef, said parliament has summoned Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim to explain the circumstances that led to the stadium disaster.

    “The questions we need answered are; where were the military police and the riot police, because you can see them stationed in the stadium,” said Morayef. “[The investigation] is likely to show at a minimum the very serious crisis facing policing in Egypt today because they ultimately have a duty to provide security and to protect people from attacks.”

    Egypt’s parliament said it would convene an emergency session after the country's football [soccer] association called for an indefinite suspension of the annual championship following Wednesday’s tragedy.

    Morayef said there could have been a systemic failure that led to the stadium disaster.

    “We could be looking at a situation of a failure of due diligence, or we could be looking at something greater than that.  Only an impartial and comprehensive investigation will show [that],” said Morayef. “There has already been a demand for [an] investigation and members of parliament have summoned the Minister of Interior to report on the measures taken by the police and the failures in policing.”

    Some observers have expressed concern that the stadium tragedy could be symptomatic of tension within Egyptian society.  They cite recent violent clashes between Egypt security forces and pro-democracy activists.

    But, Morayef says it will be an error for people to jump to that conclusion.

    “Football fans very often are used to tight security measures at [the] stadium, specifically to prevent the kind of violence and death toll that we have seen today,” said Morayef. “I don’t think there is any legitimate ground to say that fans may have feared attacks and they took weapons.  On the contrary, the fact that they were allowed to take weapons to the stadium escalated the nature of the violence that we saw today.”

    Analysts say violence at soccer matches across North Africa has increased significantly since political unrest sweeping across the region began more than a year ago.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora