Egyptian army accused of war crimes

Lawyers in the UK accuse the military of murder, torture and 'disappearing' people since Mohamed Morsi was toppled.

    Lawyers in the UK have accused the Egyptian military and the country's interim government of crimes against humanity for the aftermath of the clashes since deposed president Mohamed Morsi was ousted in July.

    In a report released on Saturday, the high-profile legal team accused the military of a number of crimes and human rights abuses.

    The report documented the findings of their investigation since August.

    "Evidence we have collected in the course of our investigation shows a prima facie case that the following crimes occurred: murder, unlawful imprisonment, torture, persecution against an identifiable group, and forced disappearance of persons and other inhumane acts of a similar character, intentionally causing great suffering or serious injury to body or mental and physical health," said Tyab Ali, a lead lawyer on the case.

    He added that the key suspects include top army officers and soldiers.

    The legal team, which includes UK-based human rights lawyer Michael Mansfield, and South African international law expert John Dugard, was appointed by the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing, the Freedom of Justice Party (FJP) and members of the Shura Council and led by London-based human rights law firm, ITN Solicitors.

    Al Jazeera's Rory Challands, reporting from Cairo, said that the legal team was examining what their next step with the case will be.

    "The most likely avenues are either the International Court of Justice in The Hague or the International Criminal Court to try and find somewhere that they could actually turn this into a prosecution," said our correspondent.

    Egyptian state media reported on Saturday that a panel of Egyptian judges had made a non-binding recommendation to the administrative court that the FJP be dissolved, which is already deliberating a lawsuit to ban the party for its affiliation with the Brotherhood and contravening laws on the formation of religious parties.

    Dialogue offer

    Earlier on Saturday, a Muslim Brotherhood-led alliance said it was ready for a national dialogue to end the political standoff that has gripped the country and killed more than 1,000 people, mostly Morsi supporters, since July 3 after the army moved to disperse protesters.

    The Brotherhood, for decades a non-violent underground movement, denies espousing the use of force and says the army staged a coup and undermined democratic gains made since a popular uprising toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

    It remains to be seen whether either the government or the top Brotherhood leaders, who have rejected dialogue outright and insist that Morsi remains the legitimate president, might be ready to compromise.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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