Egypt - Further evidence gathered on clashes since 30 June
The political turmoil in Egypt left at least 36 people dead and hundreds injured since 30 June, amid security forces failure to prevent or defuse the violence. On Tuesday, the bloodiest day of clashes, 21 people were killed according to officials of the prosecution investigating the violence. The casualties included both supporters and opponents of the President.
According to eyewitnesses interviewed by Amnesty International, clashes started at approximately 6:30pm around Kit Kat Square in the Imbaba neighbourhood. According to Imbaba residents, a group of some 300 supporters of the President were marching to join a larger protest when violence including an exchange of gunfire erupted. The clashes resulted in four deaths with dozens injured some with gunshot and shotgun-pellet wounds. A local resident was among the dead. The other three casualties appear to be supporters of the President. Imbaba residents admitted that locals had apprehended several Muslim Brotherhood members and beat them severely. The residents later handed over at least two people to the authorities. Security forces, including local police and riot police (the Central Security Forces, CSF), reportedly only arrived at the scene after the violence ended.
According to eyewitnesses, intermittent clashes around the Cairo University between supporters of the President – who were holding a sit-in at the nearby Nahda Square – and unidentified groups took place throughout the day. They intensified following the President’s speech in the late evening. The President’s supporters told Amnesty International that those attempting to join the protest were attacked by unknown assailants, using shotguns and live ammunition. They said that some of the attackers were standing on top of buildings. Other pro-Morsi witnesses reported that live ammunition was exchanged around 4:30-5pm, leading to the first deaths. Opponents of the President, interviewed by Amnesty International, said that verbal altercations between local residents, opposed to the President, and his supporters spilled over into violence, initially with sticks and shotguns, and later with live bullets. They alleged that some of the President’s supporters on a nearby bridge exchanged gunfire with the local residents.
As the night progressed, the situation degenerated further, particularly after the President’s speech. Shots were fired on the participants of the sit-in itself, after attackers approached them via the Cairo University. Hospital staff confirmed to Amnesty International that the first fatal casualties of protesters from around the Cairo University were received at around 7pm. Fatal casualties and the injured continued being brought in until dawn.
The violence also led to a police officer from the nearby Boulak Station receiving a serious eye injury. In the early morning of 3 July, eyewitnesses reported seeing three armoured vehicles, which allegedly fired teargas at both sides. Later that day the Minister of Interior removed the Head of Security for Giza for his inadequate response to the clashes, while the Governor of Giza resigned. All the fatal casualties verified independently by Amnesty International were among the supporters of the President. The National Coalition for the Support of Legitimacy, a pro-Morsi coalition of Islamist parties and groups, claimed during today’s press-conference that all the victims were supporters of the President.
Fayoum Governorate, 100km south of Cairo:
Supporters and opponents of the President clashed on the night of 30 June, leading to one death as a result of a gunshot wound with dozens injured, many with shotgun pellet wounds. Eyewitnesses told Amnesty International that clashes took place around Masalla Square, the stronghold of the President’s supporters and site of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) office.
Lawyers present at the scene that day told Amnesty International that the CSF did not attempt to stop the violence, even though they were seen nearby. At one point, armoured vehicles circled around the area, but did not intervene. Local residents also stated that the army had not intervened, despite the military police station’s proximity to the site of clashes. They added that the security forces had failed to intervene to defuse the sporadic clashes ongoing since the early hours of 3 July, leading to further injuries on both sides.
30 June 2013
On 30 June hundreds of protestors approached the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters. Around 7:00pm, one of the field doctors reported that the protestors were throwing stones at the building. People inside the building reportedly started to throw stones back and to fire shotguns at the protesters. According to two field doctors, dozens of protestors were injured in the head, eyes or chest. The protestors were transferred immediately to hospitals. At around 10:00pm, those inside the building started to use live ammunition and the protestors responded with Molotov cocktails until 6:00am the next morning. The use of live ammunition led to the deaths of eight people outside the headquarters – including one minor – with dozens injured. Another minor is still missing. According to field doctors the security forces were not present during the clashes. An activist present at the scene told Amnesty International that the security forces only arrived after the clashes came to an end, after the Muslim Brotherhood members had left the building, which the protestors had set on fire. The Ministry of Interior announced that the security forces that night had arrested one of the “snipers” shooting from the building, and that arrest warrants were issued for 12 more suspects.
Assiut, 300km south of Cairo:
On 30 June clashes erupted around 10pm, when anti-Morsi protestors reached the Governorate building. According to witnesses, individuals started to shoot live bullets from the roofs of two buildings near the Governorate building. Reports indicate that pro-Morsi groups also fired on the protestors with shotguns from a street leading to the Governorate building. The CSF intervened after around 15 minutes, but were too limited in numbers to stop the violence. The violence continued, leading to the deaths of three people by live ammunition, with around 36 more injured. An hour later, the security forces’ reinforcements arrived and surrounded the two buildings, dispersing the crowds using teargas. Later, the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Assiut were set on fire, allegedly by relatives of one of the victims and their supporters.
Bani Suef, 120km south of Cairo:
On 30 June, clashes erupted around sunset between pro- and anti-Morsi protesters close to the Omar Ibn-Abdelazziz Mosque. Shotgun pellets and live bullets were used during the clashes, according to protest participants. The clashes led to the death of one person after they were hit in the neck by a live bullet. Another 34 were reportedly injured, with shotgun pellet wounds. The protestors called the police and after around 20 minutes the CSF arrived and secured the entrances leading to the Square.
For further information contact John Tackaberry, Media Relations (613)744-7667 #236 email@example.com