Muslim Brotherhood supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi on Aug. 2, 2013 protested in the thousands for his release and restoration to office., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Egypt not probing killing of protesters: HRW
AFP, Sunday 3 Nov 2013
The human rights watchdog denounces impunity of security forces over killing of protesters last month while moving on with investigation and prosecution of civilians over violence charges
Human Rights Watch has accused Egypt's interim authorities of failing to investigate the killing of protesters by the security forces, mainly on October 6, when deadly clashes rocked Cairo.
The New-York based group on Saturday charged that three weeks since police used lethal force to break up protests of supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, the authorities have not yet questioned or said they intend to question security forces about their use of firearms on that day.
"In dealing with protest after protest, Egyptian security forces escalate quickly and without warning to live ammunition, with deadly results," HRW's Joe Stork said in a statement.
On October 6, at least 57 people were killed nationwide, but mostly in Cairo, when security forces cracked down on supporters of Morsi who were trying to march towards the iconic Tahrir Square where backers of the military were celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Arab-Israeli war.
The clashes were the deadliest since the storming by security forces of two pro-Morsi camps in Cairo on August 14 in which hundreds were killed.
Stork said 1,300 people have died in Egypt since July.
"What will it take for the authorities to rein in security forces or even set up a fact-finding committee into their use of deadly force?" he asked.
HRW said that throughout the past three months, the authorities had not yet established a fact-finding committee or attempted to rein in security forces.
But when it came to violence by protesters, prosecutors have arrested, investigated and prosecuted them for assault and use of violence, the watchdog said.
So far Egypt's public prosecutor has referred only one case involving policemen to trial.
Four policemen are facing trial over the deaths of 37 Islamist prisoners teargassed in a transport truck in August.
The four are charged with manslaughter after prisoners arrested during clashes died from suffocation when police fired teargas canisters into the truck transporting them to a prison.
"Egypt showed in the case of the police officers who fired tear gas into a truck full of detainees that it is capable of holding security forces accountable," said Stork.
"It should do the same when police officers open fire on largely peaceful demonstrators."
HRW said that a forensic medical source had revealed that live ammunition had caused the deaths of 44 of the 49 people killed in Cairo on October 6.
The source told HRW that 20 had fatal wounds to the chest, 17 to the head, six to the stomach, four to the limbs and two to multiple places on the body, and that one victim was a minor.
"That Egyptian police are using excessive lethal force is nothing new, but now they open fire as if they do not fear being held to account," Stork said.
"Until Egypt's military rulers take strong steps to rein in the police force, the killing of protesters will continue."
This story has been edited by Ahram Online
Egypt's Morsi trial will not be televised: Appeals court
Ahram Online, Sunday 3 Nov 2013
The trial will take place amid tight security and calls for nationwide protests by Morsi's allies
Cairo Appeals court announced Sunday that ousted president Mohamed Morsi's trial, scheduled for Monday, will not be televised.
The court announced earlier on Sunday that Morsi's trial will take place at the Police Academy, located on the outskirts of Cairo, contrary to earlier reports that the trial would be held in a courtroom at a police institute near Cairo's Tora prison.
Authorities are planning for tight security procedures, with around 20,000 police and army personnel guarding the trial.
A number of groups supporting the deposed president, headed by the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which Morsi hails, have called for nationwide protests to condemn the former president's trial and denounce what they describe as a "military coup."
Morsi is charged with incitement of murder and violence in the December 2012 Ittihadiya presidential palace clashes. At least eight died in the Ittihadiya clashes, initiated when Morsi supporters attacked a sit-in held by his opponents.
Morsi will appear alongside 14 other senior Islamists and Muslim Brotherhood figures.
If found guilty, Morsi and his co-defendants could face lifetime imprisonment or the death penalty.
Amnesty calls on Egypt authorities to ensure Morsi appears in court
Ahram Online, Sunday 3 Nov 2013
London-based rights group expresses concern about 'legal irregularities' in trials of other Muslim Brotherhood leaders ahead of Morsi court date
Amnesty International has called on Egyptian authorities to ensure that ousted president Mohamed Morsi appears in court and has access to all available resources for his defence.
Morsi is due in court on Monday on charges of inciting violence and murder during the December 2012 Ittihadiya presidential palace clashes, which pitted Morsi supporters against his opponents. Another 14 defendants will be tried, including senior Islamists and members of the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party.
"Tomorrow's trial is a test for the Egyptian authorities," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International's deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa programme.
The Sunday statement, issued one day ahead of the highly-anticipated trial, called for a fair trial that would allow Morsi the right to a lawyer and to challenge evidence against him in court.
"Failing to do so would further call into question the motives behind his trial," Sahraoui wrote.
Morsi has refused to recognise the legitimacy of the court trying him, declining his right to a lawyer. His supporters have deemed the trial a "farce" and "absurd," vowing to rally nationwide and in front of Egypt's embassies and consulates on Monday.
The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, a pro-Morsi Muslim Brotherhood-led coalition, described the trial as a "null, illegal" measure against the country's first freely elected president.
It is unclear whether or not Morsi will appear in court, but if so, it will be his first public appearance since he was ousted in July. The trial will take place at the police academy in New Cairo.
"The trial cannot proceed without Mohamed Morsi's presence in court. Everyone has a right to be present at their trial," Sahraoui stated.
"Amnesty International also has concerns that justice is being undermined due to irregularities in the legal process in the trials of other Muslim Brotherhood leaders," the statement added.