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Egypt summons Europe envoys over concerns

European ambassadors summoned by Foreign Ministry after several countries express concern over crackdown on dissent.

Last updated: 13 Mar 2014 19:11
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Rights group Amnesty International says the crackdown has killed more than 1,400 people since July [Reuters]

Egypt has summoned the ambassadors of several European countries after they signed a joint declaration of concern over Cairo's sweeping crackdown on dissent.

On Thursday, Egypt's foreign ministry delivered a strongly worded message of protest to ambassadors of several European nations, said Hazem Seif el-Nasr, who heads the ministry's European affairs, AFP news agency reported.

It was not known how many ambassadors were summoned. The envoys were also informed of "Egypt's categorical refusal of any attempts at interference in its internal affairs," Seif el-Nasr said.

He said last week's declaration had "omitted the steps taken by the state towards democratic transition".

Last week, 28 countries - including UK, France, Germany and Denmark,  and the US - denounced what they said was a "disproportionate use of lethal force by security forces against demonstrators which resulted in large numbers of deaths and injuries".

The military-installed authorities launched a deadly crackdown on supporters of the deposed president, Mohamed Morsi, since the army toppled him in July.

Rights group Amnesty International says that since Morsi's removal, the crackdown on his supporters has killed more than 1,400 people, while thousands more have been jailed.

In January, Egypt adopted a new constitution, and it is due to hold presidential and parliamentary elections as part of a transition to democracy.

The joint declaration, which was read at the UN Human Rights Council, also expressed "concern about the restrictions on the rights to peaceful assembly, expression and association" in Egypt.

It urged Egyptian authorities to "ensure an environment conducive to inclusive, transparent and credible elections, open to international observation and monitoring."

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