Amnesty International calls for prompt independent investigations

Amnesty International calls for prompt independent investigations

A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood who was injured during a rally in support of deposed president Mohamed Morsi is carried to safety following clashes with police outside the elite Republican Guards base in Cairo early on July 8, 2013.  (AFP Photo)

A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood who was injured during a rally in support of deposed president Mohamed Morsi is carried to safety following clashes with police outside the elite Republican Guards base in Cairo early on July 8, 2013.
(AFP Photo)

By Nourhan Dakroury

Amnesty International released a report on Monday calling for prompt independent investigations into the violence that erupted at the Republican Guard headquarters on Monday morning, resulting in the death of 51 people.

Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme, said in the report: “There is a crucial need for independent impartial investigations that can be trusted by all sides.”

“Egypt’s authorities have a poor track record of delivering truth and justice for human rights violations,” said Sahraoui.

She added: “Past military investigations have white-washed army abuses, and the authorities have buried the conclusions of a fact-finding report ordered into protesters-killings, refusing to make it public.”

Sahraoui criticised the General Prosecutor’s office about how it never prosecutes the police or the army for human right violations, stressing on the importance of the investigations being “impartial and thorough” due to the current state of polarisation and distrust that the country is facing.

Sahraoui concluded the statement saying: “Whatever form the investigations take, it must meet international standards, including having the power to compel military or other officials to give evidence.”

The spokesperson for United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon released a statement on Monday expressing the secretary general’s concern about the escalation of the situation in Egypt and the rising violence.

The statement voiced Amnesty’s demand for independent investigations, calling for “those responsible to be brought to justice.”

The statement read: “The Secretary-General calls on all Egyptians to be mindful of the precarious path the country is now on and to do everything possible to avoid further escalation,” adding that he urges all sides to show restraint and maintain protests peaceful.

Ki-moon called on security forces to “abide strictly by international standards” and on all Egyptian and political parties to work together to set the path for the future of the country.

He concluded the statement by saying: “The United Nations stands ready to assist as necessary,” stressing that no parties should be excluded from the political process.

The Spokesperson of the High Representative Catherine Ashton also issued a statement on Monday extending her condolences to the families of the victims at the Republican Guard headquarters, calling on the interim president Adly Mansour to reach out to all political powers to start reconciliation promptly.

The statement read: “All those who claim legitimacy must act in a responsible way for the good of the country and avoid any provocation or escalation of violence.”

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