UK & World News

  • 12 August 2014, 10:14

Egypt Killings 'Planned At Highest Levels'

The killing of more than 1,000 protesters last year in Egypt probably amounted to crimes against humanity, a report has found.

The deaths of demonstrators at two protest camps in Cairo were "meticulously planned at the highest levels" and carried out in a systematic and methodical way, according to the report by Human Rights Watch (HRW).

In a 188-page report based on a year-long investigation, the New York-based group urged the United Nations to look into six incidents involving killings by security forces of President Mohamed Morsi, who was overthrown by the army in July 2013.

The report also calls for a probe into the role of Egypt's current president, Abdel Fattah al Sisi, who was head of the military at the time of the operations. 

Egypt barred the head of Human Rights Watch from entering the country ahead of the report's release.

Hundreds of supporters of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood have been killed and thousands arrested since he was ousted, with the largest number of deaths taking place during the storming of two protest camps by security forces on August 14, 2013.

The HRW report said 817 protesters were killed during the clearing of the Brotherhood sit-in near Cairo's Rabaa al Adawiya mosque and compared it to the 1989 massacre of protesters around China's Tiananmen Square.

Sky News cameraman Mick Deane was among four journalists killed that day.

HRW executive director Kenneth Roth said: "In Rabaa Square, Egyptian security forces carried out one of the world's largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history.

"This wasn't merely a case of excessive force or poor training. It was a violent crackdown planned at the highest levels of the Egyptian government.

"Many of the same officials are still in power in Egypt, and have a lot to answer for."

Advertisement