Monday, August 12, 2013

'More than 165 Egyptians killed in one month because of failure of security forces to act'

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) reports:
 The EIPR today asked the public prosecutor to open an independent, urgent investigation into the failure of the security forces to assume their legal duty to secure demonstrations and protect the lives of demonstrators and others. This had led to the death and injury of hundreds of citizens in civil clashes or armed attacks targeting demonstrators, journalists and residents or others who happen to be present during clashes.
 According to a preliminary count by the EIPR, more than 165 people were killed and hundreds more injured in political violence from 27 June to the end of July in 16 governorates: Cairo, Giza, Qalyoubiya, Alexandria, Daqahliya, Sharqiya, Assyout, Fayyoum, Beni Soueif, Kafr Sheikh, Ismailiya, Minya, Suez, Beheira, Port Said and Gharbiya. (These numbers do not include the casualties of clashes and attacks by police and army forces, like at the Republican Guard Club on 8 July or al-Nasr Street on 26 July).
In all incidents of political violence over the past weeks—whether armed attacks on local residents by demonstrators, violent clashes between supporters and opponents of the deposed president or assaults by criminal elements on peaceful demonstrations—testimony from the injured, survivors and eyewitnesses consistently says that police forces vanish during the attacks, arrive hours after the outbreak of violence and the first deaths or are present near the scene of the crime but take no action to protect lives, stop the violence and arrest armed elements.”
 EIPR researcher Karim Ennarah said. Under Article 3 of the police law, security forces are legally responsible for preserving public order, security and morals and protecting lives, honor and property, in particular preventing crimes and apprehending offenders. Security forces must also uphold the peace and security of citizens in all cases and carry out their duties as prescribed by law.  Ennarah added, “Despite the security forces’ bloody record of confronting peaceful demonstrators and protecting property with excessive force, they fail to intervene to protect the lives of citizens and demonstrators when such intervention is legal and necessary to save lives and prevent crimes.”

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