Human rights organisations condemn escalation of violence

Human rights organisations condemn escalation of violence

A man holds a flare during clashes between supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi and anti Morsi protesters near Egypt's landmark Tahrir square on July 5, 2013 in Cairo. (AFP Photo)

A man holds a flare during clashes between supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi and anti Morsi protesters near Egypt’s landmark Tahrir square on July 5, 2013 in Cairo.
(AFP Photo)

By Fatma Khaled

The United Nations Human Rights Office (UNHRO) and various Egyptian human rights organisations urged restraint from all parties and censured security officials for excessive use of force, in statements released on Tuesday.

UNHRO expressed its concern over the mounting political crisis, denouncing the dozens of deaths since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi.

The emphasis on the role of Egyptian authorities in the clashes requires a strong response, Cecile Pouilly, spokeswoman for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, confirmed in a statement.

Pouilly added that such clashes require thorough and transparent investigation.

UNHRO also stated that protesters should preserve a peaceful nature of demonstrations and demanded military and law enforcement officials show “maximum restraint” in compliance with international standards of policing.

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) echoed the UN statement, adding that these standards prohibit the intentional killing of protesters, and emphasizing that the military and police should secure protesters of both parties.

UNHRO welcomed interim president Adly Mansour’s decision to conduct investigations on the Republican Guards clashes, noting they would follow Egypt’s developments closely and advocate the formation of a legislative framework that considers basic human rights.

Egyptian rights groups condemned violence and security officials’ use of excessive force in their statement, commenting on the Republican Guards’ clashes that killed 51 protesters and wounded hundreds.

Pouilly and several organisations of EOHR, including the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and the Arabic Network for Human Rights, advised that the incident should undergo investigations held by an independent body that would later announce its findings publicly.

The rights groups stressed that the use of force should have deterred threats that are ignited from protesters’ use of weapons even when they tried to storm in the Republican Guard building.

They deplored the Muslim Brotherhood’s actions of incitement to violence that led to a complex political scene, but also denounced violations taken against the Brotherhood and their supporters.

They added in their statement that they condemn the violence committed by political Islamists in Manial, Maspero, and Sidi Gaber in Alexandria, while also denouncing violent practices in Sidi Beshr and Zagazig along with media incitement the targeting of Islamists.

EOHR underscored that the committee in charge should include human rights organisations and judicial figures with professionalism and objectivity, representing all parties including the Brotherhood and supporters of the ousted president.

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