Select this search icon to access the amnesty.ca search form

Main menu

Facebook Share

Egypt

    August 20, 2013

    There has been an unprecedented rise in sectarian violence across Egypt targeting Coptic Christians and the Egyptian authorities must take immediate steps to ensure their safety, Amnesty International said.

    Coptic Christians have been targeted – seemingly in retaliation for their support of the ousting of Mohamed Morsi – since the violent dispersals of pro-Morsi sit-ins in Greater Cairo on 14 August. Several Coptic Christians were killed, while their churches, businesses, and homes have been under attack.

    “It is a shocking dereliction of duty that security forces failed to prevent these sectarian attacks and protect Coptic Christians. The backlash against Coptic Christians should have been anticipated following the dramatic rise in similar incidents since Mohamed Morsi was ousted,” said Hassiba Hadja Sahraoui, deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

    “Attacks against Coptic Christians must be investigated and those responsible brought to justice.”

    August 19, 2013

    There must be a full, impartial and effective investigation into the shocking loss of life that has taken place in Egypt over the last week, with full accountability for whoever committed or ordered the unwarranted lethal crackdown, said Amnesty International’s leaders from across the globe as they came together in Berlin today.


    The interim government has already stained its human rights record – first by breaking its promises to use non-lethal weapons to disperse pro-Morsi sit-ins and allow for the safe exit of wounded and then by justifying their actions despite the tragic loss of lives.

    Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

    “The interim government has already stained its human rights record – first by breaking its promises to use non-lethal weapons to disperse pro-Morsi sit-ins and allow for the safe exit of wounded and then by justifying their actions despite the tragic loss of lives,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

    August 16, 2013

    There must be a full and impartial investigation into the violent dispersal of sit-in protests in Cairo this week, where security forces used unwarranted lethal force and broke promises to allow the wounded to exit safely, Amnesty International said today on the basis of its research on the ground.


    Based on the initial testimonies and other evidence we’ve gathered, there seems to be little doubt the security forces have been acting with blatant disregard for human life, and full investigations that are both impartial and independent are urgently needed.

    Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International

    Unprecedented levels of violence have left more than 600 dead around Egypt. The Ministry of Interior reported 43 fatal casualties among security forces. The death toll is expected to climb further as bodies are transferred to official hospitals and morgues.

    August 14, 2013

    Security forces must take urgent steps to avoid further bloodshed as a pro-Morsi sit-in is dispersed in Cairo today, said Amnesty International. The organization is working on the ground to verify any abuses that may have been carried out.

    “Promises by the authorities to use lethal methods only as a last resort to disperse protesters appear to have been broken. All too often in the past the Egyptian security forces have used excessive force against demonstrators with catastrophic consequences,” said Philip Luther, Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

    “Security forces have a duty to prevent further loss of life. This must be an immediate priority.”

    Access to the main hospital in the area near the sit-in at Rabaa al-Adawiya is also reported to be restricted.

    August 07, 2013

    Amnesty International absolutely refutes a statement by Nabil Fahmy, the Egyptian Foreign Minister, alleging that the organization has evidence that “heavy weapons” are present inside a sit-in by supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi near Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque in Cairo.

    During an interview on BBC HARDTalk broadcast on Tuesday 6 August 2013, Nabil Fahmy said that Amnesty International had issued a statement saying there were “heavy weapons inside Rabaa”. Amnesty International has not issued such a statement.

    Last Friday Amnesty International announced that the organization 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.  

    At no stage did Amnesty International refer to the use of “heavy weapons” inside the sit-in.

     

    August 02, 2013

    Evidence, including testimonies from survivors, indicates that supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi tortured individuals from a rival political camp, said Amnesty International.

    Anti-Morsi protesters told Amnesty International how they were captured, beaten, subjected to electric shocks or stabbed by individuals loyal to the former President. Since mass rival rallies began in late June, as of 28 July, eight bodies have arrived at the morgue in Cairo bearing signs of torture. At least five of these were found near areas where pro-Morsi sit-ins were being held.

    “Allegations that torture is being carried out by individuals are extremely serious and must be investigated as a matter of urgency,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.  

    July 31, 2013

    The Egyptian government’s decision to mandate security forces to end all pro-Morsi sit-ins in Greater Cairo, considering recent violence against protesters, is a recipe for further bloodshed, Amnesty International said.

    “Given the Egyptian security forces' record of policing demonstrations with the routine use of excessive and unwarranted lethal force, this latest announcement gives a seal of approval to further abuse,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International,.

    “The authorities as well as the security forces should start with an approach that avoids the use of force and is based on ‘methods of persuasion, negotiation and mediation’, as recommended by international standards.”

    Earlier today, the Egyptian cabinet said, in a televised statement, that pro-Morsi sit-ins in Greater Cairo are now considered a "threat to national security".

    However, they failed to specify what measures they would take to minimise violent confrontation and the potential loss of life and serious injury.  

    July 29, 2013

    Evidence that the security forces have once again used unwarranted live fire and other excessive force underlines the crucial need for police reform, said Amnesty International after a weekend of violence left 90 dead.

    Security forces used live rounds and tear gas to disperse supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi during demonstrations on Saturday, leaving 80 people dead. A further 10 people were killed by gunfire during clashes in Alexandria.

    “The latest bloodshed should serve as a wake-up call to the Egyptian authorities over the urgency of police reform,” said Philip Luther, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program.

    The Interior Ministry has denied using live ammunition to disperse protests on 27 July. However, testimonies from injured protesters and eyewitnesses as well as medical and video evidence collected and examined by Amnesty International casts serious doubts on the Ministry of Interior’s version of events.

    July 25, 2013

    Security forces must do more to protect protesters from violent attack and avoid the use of excessive force against peaceful gatherings, Amnesty International said as Egypt braces for major rival political rallies on Friday.

    “Security forces have repeatedly failed to protect protesters, bystanders and residents from attacks by armed assailants. They have also failed to intervene effectively to end violent clashes between rival groups”, said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program.

    More than 180 people have been killed in violent clashes or other political violence since 30 June, when mass demonstrations were held calling for the fall of former President Mohamed Morsi. Since then political violence has escalated between supporters and opponents of the deposed President leading to an increasing loss of life.

    “Continued failure to properly police rival street protests will lead to further bloodshed and an escalation of human rights abuses,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.

    July 23, 2013

    Security forces stood by and failed to intervene during a brutal attack on Coptic Christians in Luxor, Amnesty International said in a briefing published today. During the sectarian violence, security forces left six besieged men –four of whom were then killed and one hospitalized – to the mercy of an angry crowd.

    In an attack lasting 18 hours on 5 July, four Coptic Christian men were killed and four others were seriously injured. An angry mob armed with metal bars, knives, tree branches and hammers attacked Christian homes and businesses in Nagah Hassan, 18 km west of Luxor, after the dead body of a Muslim man was discovered near the homes of Christian families. Despite local residents’ and religious leaders’ repeated calls for help, security forces on the scene made only half-hearted attempts to end the violence and sufficient reinforcements failed to arrive.

    July 17, 2013

    Hundreds of pro-Morsi supporters arrested by the Egyptian authorities have been denied their legal rights, said Amnesty International in a new briefing published today. The organization has gathered testimonies from detainees who said that they were beaten upon arrest, subjected to electric shocks or hit with rifle butts.

    The Egyptian authorities must respect the right to due process for those who have been rounded up and are facing accusations of inciting or participating in violence in the last two weeks. Allegations of ill-treatment must be investigated urgently.

    “At this time of extreme polarization and division, it is more important than ever that the office of the Public Prosecutor demonstrates that it’s truly independent and not politicized,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Program Director at Amnesty International. “These cases risk being seen as mere retribution rather than justice.”

    July 10, 2013

    The Egyptian authorities should not recklessly deny entry to Syrians and must provide anyone fleeing the conflict the opportunity to seek asylum, Amnesty International said today after reports that some 259 people were turned back at Cairo Airport on Monday.

    “Given the scale of violence, bloodshed and human rights abuses currently taking place in Syria, it is unthinkable that Egypt should deny Syrians fleeing for their lives safety," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui , Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa programme.

    Syrian nationals arriving on Monday were denied entry to Egypt on the grounds that the passengers had not obtained the newly required visas or security permits. Previously, Syrian nationals did not require visas to enter Egypt.

    While the Egyptian authorities can regulate entry to and stay in Egypt, they must do so in full respect of their international human rights and refugee law obligations.

    Those sent back include: 95 passengers on a Syrian Airlines flight to Latakia, in Syria; 55 flew MEA back to Beirut; some 25 to Jordan, and six to Abu Dhabi.

    July 10, 2013

    Evidence gathered by Amnesty International suggests that the security forces have used excessive force against supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi. Since last Friday at least 88 people have lost their lives in protests and political violence, including three members of the security forces, with around 1,500 wounded.

    At least 51 Morsi supporters were killed yesterday during clashes outside the Republican guard headquarters.

    “Despite claims by the military that protesters attacked first during clashes on Monday and that no women and children were injured, first hand accounts collected by Amnesty International paint a very different picture. Even if some protesters used violence, the response was disproportionate and led to the loss of life and injury among peaceful protesters,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

    The army and Interior Ministry said yesterday that the violence followed an attack by protesters around the Republican Guard Club, and announced that a military officer and two members of the security forces were killed.

    July 08, 2013

    Amnesty International is calling for an urgent independent investigation into the reported deaths of at least 51 people outside the Republican Guard headquarters today.

    “There is a crucial need for independent and impartial investigations that can be trusted by all sides. However, Egypt’s authorities have a poor track record of delivering truth and justice for human rights violations,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme.

    “Past military investigations have white-washed army abuses, and the authorities have buried the conclusions of a fact-finding report they ordered into protester-killings, refusing to make it public. Egypt’s Public Prosecution has spent more time charging government critics than it has prosecuting the police and army for human rights violations.”

    July 05, 2013

    Amnesty International is warning against a crackdown on supporters of Mohamed Morsi, after documenting a new wave of arrests of Muslim Brotherhood leaders, raids on media and an incident in which a protester was killed by army live fire.

    Since former President Mohamed Morsi was deposed on 3 July, Amnesty International has spoken to eyewitnesses who were fired on by the army in a street near Rabaa Aladaweya Square in Cairo’s Nasr City that evening. Live ammunition was used on the pro-Morsi protest, and at least one demonstrator was killed.
     
    “We fear that the violence of the last few days could spiral into a new wave of human rights abuses,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Programme, amid reports that more pro-Morsi protesters were shot today as they marched on the headquarters of the Republican Guard in Cairo. “It also resurrects fears of the army’s abysmal record on human rights.”

    Pages

    Subscribe to Egypt