Amnesty accuses Egyptian FM of misquotes

Ahram Online, Thursday 8 Aug 2013

Amnesty International says the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledges that Nabil Fahmy misquoted them in comments on the pro-Morsi Rabaa Al-Adawiya sit-in

Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy (Photo: AP)

Amnesty International issued a statement Wednesday to refute comments by Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy, where he said that the organisation had evidence that heavy weapons were present inside the pro-Morsi sit-in near Cairo's Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque.

Fahmy's allegations were made during his interview with BBC HARDTalk, broadcast Tuesday.

"Last Friday, Amnesty International announced that the organisation had gathered evidence indicating that a number of Morsi supporters had tortured individuals from a rival political camp since the outbreak of the political crisis in June. Some of these incidents occurred in areas near where pro-Morsi sit-ins were being held," said the Amnesty statement.

"At no stage did Amnesty International refer to the use of heavy weapons inside the sit-in," added the statement.

Amnesty added that the the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledged Thursday that Fahmy "had inadvertently referred to heavy weapons at the sit-in during the interview and has apologised to Amnesty International for any misunderstanding caused by this error."

In Egyptian media there have been reports of local residents being tortured at the protest and eyewitnesses stating that weapons are present in the sit-in.

On 2 August, Amnesty issued a statement of testimonies of anti-Morsi protesters who claim they had been captured, beaten and subjected to electric shocks or stabbed by supporters of the deposed president.

The statement added that at least eight bodies arrived to the morgue in Cairo between late June and 28 July, and at least five of these were found near areas where pro-Morsi sit-ins were being held.

Supporters of Morsi — namely the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies — been staging two sit-ins, at Rabaa Al-Adawiya in the Nasr City district of Cairo and Al-Nahda Square in Giza, as well as daily rallies demanding Morsi's reinstatement since his popularly-backed army ouster 3 July.

On Wednesday, Egypt's presidency issued a statement describing the Brotherhood-led sit-ins as non-peaceful. Later PM Hazem El-Beblawi said in a televised speech that the decision to disperse the pro-Morsi sit-ins is final. 

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