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UNICEF decries use of children in Egyptian protests

UN body expresses concern at reports of children killed or injured in recent violence

Ahram Online, Wednesday 31 Jul 2013
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Children pose for a photograph in Tahrir Square (Photo: Reuters)
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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has expressing deep concern over reports that children have been killed or injured during violent confrontations in Egypt over recent days.

A statement, released on behalf of UNICEF Representative in Egypt Philippe Duamelle on Tuesday, also decried the presence of children in protests who "on some occasions, have been deliberately used and put at risk of witnessing or becoming actual victims of violence."

According to UNICEF, such actions can have "long-lasting and devastating physical and psychological impact on children."

UNICEF ended the statement by calling on all Egyptians and political groups to "not exploit children for political ends, and to protect them from any potential harm."

Pictures of children carrying burial shrouds at the sit-in in support of ousted president Mohamed Morsi in Nasr City have been circulating on Egyptian social media sites, along with pictures of children wearing t-shirts with Defence Minister Abdel Fattah El-Sisi's picture at anti-Morsi protests.

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