News / Middle East

Report: Crimes Against Humanity Likely in Egypt Protest Deaths

FIILE - Egyptian security forces clash with supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi at Nasr City district in Cairo, Nov. 22, 2013.
FIILE - Egyptian security forces clash with supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi at Nasr City district in Cairo, Nov. 22, 2013.
VOA News

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi should be investigated for possible human rights violations in connection with the killing of hundreds of protesters last year in Cairo.

In a new report Tuesday, the group outlines the conclusions of a yearlong investigation into six weeks of violent crackdowns on protesters who were rallying against the ouster of former leader Mohamed Morsi.

More than 1,000 people were killed in what HRW called an "unprecedented scale" of protester deaths in Egypt as the country's police and security forces "systematically and intentionally used excessive force."

The report said Sissi, who was serving as Egypt's army chief, should be investigated along with Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim and Medhat Menshawy, who led forces that carried out a massively deadly operation to clear out a protest camp.

Warned protesters

The government had warned for days it would move against the camp around the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, which officials said was disruptive and could incite terrorism. 

But the report said warnings about when the action would take place were not sufficient.  

HRW said there was some evidence of protesters attacking security forces at the site, but that the response "amounted to collective punishment of the overwhelming majority of peaceful protesters." 

More than 800 people were killed.

The group said the pattern of responses to the pro-Morsi protests between July 5 and August 17 last year amounted to "grossly disproportionate and premeditated lethal attacks," and that the killings likely amounted to crimes against humanity.

The report said Egypt has not carried out any credible judicial investigations or prosecutions and urged the government to probe those responsible for any rights violations. 

It also recommended security forces stop "unlawful excessive use of force," and for officials to cooperate with Egypt's own fact-finding commission related to the mass killings.

UN investigation

Human Rights Watch also urged the United Nations to establish a commission of inquiry to investigate all human rights violations from the mass killings of protesters in Egypt.

Sissi led the ouster of Morsi, who was Egypt's first democratically elected president but lasted only a year in office before protesters held mass rallies accusing him of trying to monopolize power and failing to fix the country's economy. 

The crackdown against Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood also included arresting many of the group's top leaders.

Ahead of the report's release, two Human Rights Watch officials said Egypt barred them from entering the country.

Executive director Kenneth Roth and Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson said Monday that authorities held them overnight at the Cairo airport before denying them entry for "security reasons."

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the United States was disappointed the two individuals were not allowed to enter Egypt and that the U.S. encourages the Egyptian government to conduct a transparent investigation of the protester deaths.

You May Like

800-Pound Man Determined to Slim Down

Man says he was kicked out of hospital for ordering pizza; wants to be an actor More

Australia Prepares to Resettle 12,000 Syrian Refugees

Preference will be given to refugees from persecuted minorities, and the first group is expected to arrive before late December More

S. African Miners Seek Class Action Suit Against Gold Mines

The estimated 100,000 say say they contracted the lung diseases silicosis and tuberculosis in the mines More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Mahfuze from: Egypt
August 12, 2014 9:23 AM
Hey UN, will you stop this bull shit please "CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY..". whose humanity are we talking about..?? these are Islamic terrorist bent on destroying civilization..!!! look at the cultural destruction, mass rape, mass mutilation, mass executions and crucifixions that they have caused... in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Gaza... the UN is essentially protecting these Islamic scumbags... and allowing them to continue perpetrating these horrific atrocities...!!! what the UN is doing is a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY..!!! listen, I am Christian, i lived all my life in Egypt, let me tell you, if it weren't for Al Sisi, today there will remain one single Christian alive in Egypt.
And now, Turkey is becoming a Muslim Brotherhood State..!! A NATO member with European aspirations that officially supports the same depravity of Hamas ISIL Al Qaeda... THESE are enemies of humanity... fools !!!
In Response

by: Waha from: Egypt
August 12, 2014 3:07 PM
Thank you Mahfuze. finally someone says it like it is. In Gaza, if you are a woman and you laugh in public you will be arrested by Hamas and repeatedly gang raped until you agree to become a suicide bomber to save the honor of your family. That is Hamas. The Muslim Brotherhood instituted the same laws in Egypt. and now Turkey is a Hamas Muslim Brotherhood State... watch and see.
In Response

by: ali bab from: new york
August 12, 2014 1:23 PM
excellent comment and well written
In Response

by: Ali baba from: new york
August 12, 2014 10:36 AM
Muslim brotherhood has a lot of money and hire lawyers to convince Un or human right organization about producing that report. the case is crystal clear. that Muslim brotherhood is a terrorist organization and it has billion from Arab country and Egyptian whom live in Us and Europe. and how long west is being fool about them

by: Ali baba from: new york
August 12, 2014 9:18 AM
There is no crime against Humanity in Egypt. It seems to me that human right organization Has not look at the picture as a whole or Muslim brotherhood lobby want destroy Egyptian Gov. and public opinion. After the removal of morsi.. ,Muslim brotherhood refuse to accept people decision and they pay for poor people to say and protest hoping that their protest will remove the Gov. and restore the control of Muslim brotherhood. They stay in a place called Rabbia el Addawi. The Egyptian Gov. . asked them to go home because It is illegal protest. they dropped leaflet from air plane. they ask them to leave and give them free transportation. when they are In Rabbia El addawia they store weapon and home made bomb.

The Egyptian Gov. has no alternative is use force to disperse them . When the operation to disperse them started ,they use microphone and asked them to leave the place peacefully but they refuse and attack the police. the police has the right to defend themselves. Remember that Muslim brotherhood is a terrorist organization and use violent as ISIS and Osama Bin laden Group . We hear in the news That ISIS is killing minority and commit mass murder. Muslim brotherhood is acting in the same manner. they burnt 80 churches. they kidnapped Christian girls and sold them as a sex slave in Saudi . We should not listen to terrorist organization propaganda. They are liar and they had several chances to leave peacefully but they refuse to understand that violent should not a mean to achieve its goal

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs