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Leading Brotherhood member ready to testify about Rabaa dispersal

Fact-finding committee reveals that prominent Brotherhood figure Mohamed Ali Bishr is going to testify about Rabaa sit-in dispersal next Monday

Ahram Online , Thursday 11 Sep 2014
Mohamed Ali Bishr
Mohamed Ali Bishr (Photo: AL-Ahram)
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The fact-finding committee assigned to investigate the events following the mass 30 June demonstrations announced on Thursday that Mohamed Ali Bishr, a leading Muslim Brotherhood figure was going to testify about the August 2013 dispersal of the sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adawiya next Monday.

In a statement issued Thursday afternoon the committee stated that Bishr told committee head Fouad Riyad – who also led the International Criminal Tribunal in the former Yugoslovia, – that he was ready to testify alongside other Brotherhood members after an initial rejection to testify a couple of weeks ago.

Bisher also told Riyad that he asked the wife and son of Mohamed El-Beltagy, the famous leading Muslim Brotherhood figure to testify.

Brotherhood leading figure and former MP Mohamed El-Beltagy's daughter Asmaa El-Beltagy was killed in the dispersal of the sit-in and became an icon among pro-Morsi supporters both locally and internationally. Mohamed El-Beltagy is currently in jail, serving two life sentences.

According to the fact-finding committee's statement, Bishr also called on other Brotherhood members such as lawyer Hoda Abdel-Moneim and Doctor Hanan Amin to testify as eye witnesses to the dispersal.

Bishr, was among the Brotherhood team that held talks with the EU delegation that travelled to Cairo following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. 

The Muslim Brotherhood was designated as a terrorist organisation last December.

Riyad announced earlier that the committee was ready to send a delegation to listen to the testimonies of the Muslim Brotherhood members abroad if they approved to testify.

He also called on international human rights organisations like Human Rights Watch to present their findings on the dispersal.

In August Human Rights Watch issued a 188-page investigation report about the dispersal of the sit-ins at Rabaa and Nahda and described the actions of security forces as a "crime against humanity".

The Egyptian government official described the report as biased.

In March the state's National Council for Human Rights issued its report about the dispersal, concluding that while pro-Morsi supporters fired first at the security forces, the security forces responded with excessive and disproportionate force, leaving over 600 dead.

The Council also reported that Muslim Brotherhood members refused to cooperate and to testify in their report.

Riyad's fact finding committee assigned to investigate events following 30 June protests was formed by a presidential decree last December. 

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