Fact-finding committees formed to investigate post-Morsi violence

Ahram Online, Saturday 28 Sep 2013

The Egyptian National Council for Human Rights has formed fact-finding committees to look into violent incidents that have occurred since 14 August

A torn poster of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi hangs from an armoured bulldozer used to clear Rabaa Adawiya square, Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights (ENCHR) formed four fact-finding committees on Saturday to look into human rights violations that have occurred since the violent dispersal of the pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo last month.

Hundreds were killed during the security forces’ dispersal of pro-Morsi sit-ins on 14 August in Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Giza’s Al-Nahda square. Around one hundred security personnel were also killed in the violence.

On 16 September, Egypt’s interim cabinet commissioned the ENCHR to investigate violent events that have occurred since Morsi’s ouster on 3 July, including several deadly clashes following the sit-in dispersals on 14 August.

The first committee will investigate the dispersal of the pro-Morsi sit-ins on 14 August. This committee includes international law professor and legal expert Ahmed Abou El-Wafa, Head of the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights Hafez Abou Saadi, and human rights lawyer Ragia Omran.

A second committee will look into the attack on a police station in the Giza district of Kerdasa on 14 August, which 11 policemen dead. Islamist militants have been blamed for the attack. This committee is composed of renowned policial activist Shahenda Maklad, veteran activist George Ishak, former Muslim Brotherhood leader Mokhtar Nouh, General Coordinator of the Centre for Trade Unions and Workers Services Kamal Abbas, Brotherhood member Mohamed Abdel-Kodous and Coptic scholar Samir Morcos.

According to an Egyptian Centre for Public Policy Studies report published on Tuesday, over 30 churches were destroyed in Upper Egypt during sectarian attacks in August.

A third committee, concerned with attacks on places of worship, includes human rights activist Manal El-Teibi, Brotherhood member Abdel-Kodous, and media expert Yasser Abdel-Aziz.

A fourth committee has been formed to investigate the 18 August Abou Zaabal prison incident, in which 38 Morsi loyalists reportedly suffocated to death in a police vehicle while being transported to the prison. Events leading to their death remain unverified. Members of this committee are Hafez Abou Saada, Ragia Omran, Samir Morcos, Shahenda Maklad and Salah Salam.

In a press statement issued on Saturday, the ENCHR has called on citizens to contact them if they have any information to report on these grave events.

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