Egypt's human rights council calls for testimonies on violent incidents

Ahram Online, Wednesday 13 Nov 2013

The National Council for Human Rights is investigating violent events since Morsi's ouster

Rabba el Adwia clashes
Egypt Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi flee from tear gas and rubber bullets fired by riot police during clashes, on a bridge leading to Rabba el Adwia Square in Cairo August 14, (Photo: Reuters)

The National Council for Human Rights called on Wednesday for citizens to submit their testimonies related to violent incidents that have taken place since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July.

Egypt's security situation has been volatile in the months since Morsi's removal.

Protests calling for Morsi’s reinstatement have often escalated into street clashes between Morsi supporters and security forces. In mid-August, security forces violently dispersed to main Islamist sit-ins set up in Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Nahda squares. Hundreds of protesters died in the intervention.

In retaliation, attacks targeting churches and Christian-owned properties have increased to an unprecedented level, as some Islamists hold Christian responsible for the overthrow of the Islamist leader.

In September, Egypt’s interim cabinet commissioned the council, a state body, to investigate the violent events that have occurred since Morsi’s ouster, and the council formed four fact-finding committees to look into human rights violations.

In a statement published on Wednesday on its website, the council called on citizens to submit “information, testimonies or proofs” regarding the violent dispersal of the Rabaa and Nahda sit-ins or the attacks against Egyptians and places of worship.

The council also said it was collecting information concerning the deaths of nearly 40 detained people in August, who died after police fired teargas into the back of a police van in which they were being held. Four policemen have been arrested and charged with murder and unintended injury.

The council has also called for testimonies regarding events in Kerdasa. The small town located close to Cairo was stormed by security forces in September to capture suspects in a deadly attack on a local police station in August which left 11 policemen dead.

The state body stressed that state institutions, specifically the interior and justice ministries, the ambulance authority, the general prosecution and the morgue department, should submit relevant information on the incidents to the council.

It said subcommittees working on those incidents would publish the results of their investigations "soon."


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