HRW slams Egypt cops after revolt anniversary bloodshed

2015-01-26 16:31
Supporters of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi clash with anti-government protesters (unseen) following demonstrations in Cairo. (Mohamed El-Shahed, AFP)

Supporters of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi clash with anti-government protesters (unseen) following demonstrations in Cairo. (Mohamed El-Shahed, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cairo - Human Rights Watch on Monday accused Egyptian police of using "excessive force" against protesters after 20 people were killed in clashes on the fourth anniversary of its 2011 uprising.

The clashes between protesters and security forces in Cairo and the coastal city of Alexandria on Sunday came after Islamists called for demonstrations against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's government.

At least 19 protesters, mostly Islamist supporters of Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president who was ousted by then army chief Sisi in July 2013, and a policeman were killed, a health ministry official said.

The Cairo violence accounted for all but one death, that of a demonstrator in Alexandria.

Independent use of force

Late Sunday, officials had put the death toll at 15, including the policeman who was shot dead during clashes in a northern Cairo district.

"Four years after Egypt's revolution, police are still killing protesters on a regular basis," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director of Human Right Watch.

The New York-based HRW called for "an independent investigation into the authorities' excessive use of force" to quell "apparently peaceful protests".

Tensions had surged ahead of the anniversary, and a female demonstrator was killed in clashes with police during a rare leftwing protest in Cairo on Saturday.

Shaima al-Sabbagh died of birdshot wounds when police fired to disperse a march, fellow protesters and HRW said.

More repressive

An 18-year-old female protester was also killed on Friday in clashes in Alexandria.

Egypt has been gripped by political turmoil since the 2011 uprising which toppled long-time strongman Hosni Mubarak and by violent unrest since his successor Morsi was ousted.

Sisi has since led a crackdown on Morsi's supporters that has left hundreds dead, thousands in jail and dozens sentenced to death.

After a landslide presidential election victory last May, Sisi has been regularly accused by activists and rights groups of installing a regime that is more repressive than Mubarak's.

His supporters deny the allegations, pointing to his popularity among a large section of Egypt's population weary of four years of turmoil and economic crisis.

Read more on:    hrw  |  hosni mubarak  |  mohammed morsi  |  abdel fattah al-sisi  |  egypt  |  north africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.