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Egypt protest deaths: Linked to president?

Human Rights Watch says security forces deliberately killed largely unarmed demonstrators.

Last updated: 13 Aug 2014 05:04
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Egypt stands accused of what Human Rights Watch is calling a premeditated massacre after a hard hitting report says security forces systematically and deliberately killed unarmed protesters on political grounds.

The group says authorities used excessive force against supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi in Cairo's Rabaa al Adawiya and Nahda squares last August.

A year-long investigation has found that the action of senior figures likely amounted to crimes against humanity.

Those figures include the then defence minister, now president, Abdel Fattah el Sisi, as well as interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim and head of special forces, Medhat Menshawy.

The Egyptian government has rejected the Human Rights Watch findings.

In a statement it said the report was negative and biased, and ignored what it called terrorist attacks by Muslim Brotherhood elements and their supporters.

It said the report also ignored all political efforts to end protest sit-ins peacefully, and accused Human Rights Watch of working in Egypt without permission, in breach of international law.

Human Rights Watch has called on the world to take action. But will those responsible be held accountable?

Presenter - Fauziah Ibrahim

Guests -

Sarah Leah Whitson - executive director for the Middle East and North Africa Division of Human Rights Watch.

Rami Khouri - director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut.

Maha Azzam - a specialist on political Islam and the Middle East, and president of the newly formed opposition group, the Egyptian Revolutionary Council.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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