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.

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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

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