Friday, July 12, 2013
HRW about Egypt: 'Halt Arbitrary Action Against Brotherhood, Media'
Human Rights Watch:
In Egypt, political jockeying has been stealing attention from the need to investigate serious abuses. Amnesty International has gathered evidence suggesting that security forces have used excessive force against Morsy supporters and that 88 people have died and 1500 have been wounded in the violence since last Friday.
In addition to the July 8 killing of over 50 pro-Morsy demonstrators, authorities have, as Human Rights Watch has highlighted, detained Muslim Brotherhood leaders, sealed off Brotherhood buildings, and closed down its TV station and other stations sympathetic to the organization. Egypt’s military-installed government should end its arbitrary acts against the Muslim Brotherhood and the news media, Human Rights Watch said today. Since Defense Minister General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi announced the removal of President Mohamed Morsy from power on the night of July 3, the authorities have detained Muslim Brotherhood leaders, apparently solely on the basis of their membership in the group, sealed off Brotherhood buildings, and closed down its TV station and other stations sympathetic to the organization.
The military has also arrested the deposed president himself and at least ten members of his team and kept them in incommunicado detention for four days, unable to speak with their families or lawyer. The military has not confirmed where they are currently held, nor formally charged them with any recognizable offenses or brought them before a judge. The military should release the former president and his aides unless prosecutors have evidence that they committed a cognizable crime under Egyptian law, Human Rights Watch said. Any such charges should not contradict the internationally recognized rights to free expression and peaceful association.
“Both General al-Sisi and interim President Adli Mansour promised that the political transition process would be inclusive , but these violations of basic political rights will mean the Muslim Brotherhood and others will be shut out of political life,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Without strict respect for the rule of law and basic rights from the start there will be no political freedom.”