Monday, November 28, 2011

Human Rights NGO: Egyptian security forces fired deliberately at eyes of protesters

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), a human rights group in Egypt, has issued a report claiming that many injuries resulting of the last few days of demonstrations in Cairo, were the result of deliberate attempts by the security forces to harm the protesters. The EIPR reports that there were 60 eye injuries at one hospital alone.

A large number of video recordings made by demonstrators and eyewitnesses proved that the targeting of the eyes was intentional. Perhaps the most notorious clip is one circulating on the internet which clearly shows an officer firing on demonstrators in Mohamed Mahmoud Street. A soldier then congratulates him on hitting a demonstrator's eye, saying: 'Nice one, you hit the guy's eye.'

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights' (EIPR) preliminary investigations into the attacks on demonstrators in Tahrir confirmed that security forces deliberately fired birdshot pellets and rubber bullets in the direction of demonstrators' bodies. This use of force was intended to injure demonstrators rather than to disperse them, which led to several of them losing the use of their eyes. The EIPR underlined the need to charge elements of the Interior Ministry with assault causing permanent disability, in the ongoing public prosecutor's investigations into attacks on demonstrators in Mohamed Mahmoud Street and Tahrir Square.

The high rate of eye injuries leaves no doubt as to a pattern of intentionally aiming birdshot pellets and rubber bullets at the eyes of demonstrators", said Magda Boutros, Criminal Justice Reform Director at EIPR. "We will not let this atrocious crime go unpunished." Kasr el-Aini hospital alone received 60 cases of eye injuries between the 19th November and the morning of the 27th November. According to the records of those injured and held in Kasr el-Aini hospital, eye injuries varied between burst corneas, burst eye sockets and foreign bodies in different parts of the eye.

For the rest of the report, click here

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