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

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    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.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora