Friday, 14 August 2015

Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi staged several rallies on Friday to mark the second anniversary of the violent breakup of major protest camps in Cairo, in which hundreds of demonstrators were killed.

Protesters set out following Friday prayer from mosques from Cairo to Alexandria in the north and Minya in Upper Egypt.

Security forces used tear gas to disperse them in the eastern Cairo suburb of Matariya as demonstrators fired fireworks, according to an Anadolu Agency reporter.

Hundreds of pro-Morsi demonstrators were killed when security forces violently dispersed their protest camps in Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya Square and Giza’s Nahda Square on Aug. 14, 2013, only weeks after Morsi was removed from power in a military coup.

According to the National Human Rights Council, the dispersal of both protest camps that day left 632 people, including eight policemen, dead.

But the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, Morsi’s main support bloc and the sit-in’s main organizer, said thousands were killed in the dispersal.

HRW, meanwhile, called for an international investigation into the mass killing of protesters in the Rabaa al-Adawiya Square.

In a Friday statement, the New York-based group called on the UN Human Rights Council and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to investigate the killings.

“Washington and Europe have gone back to business with a government that celebrates rather than investigates what may have been the worst single-day killing of protesters in modern history,” Joe Stork, HRW’s deputy Middle East director, said. “The UN Human Rights Council, which has not yet addressed Egypt’s dangerous and deteriorating human rights situation, is one of the few remaining routes to accountability for this brutal massacre.”

Egypt has been roiled by violence and turmoil since Morsi, the country’s first freely elected president, was ousted by the military on July 3, 2013 following protests against his rule.

Since Morsi’s ouster, Egyptian authorities have carried out a relentless crackdown on dissent that has mainly targeted the ousted president’s supporters, leaving hundreds dead and thousands behind bars.

Source: Middle East Monitor.