Egyptian Security Forces Must Avoid Further Bloodshed

Press Release
August 14, 2013

Egyptian Security Forces Must Avoid Further Bloodshed

Contact: Sharon Singh, ssingh@aiusa.org, 202-675-8579, @AIUSAmedia

Security forces must take urgent steps to avoid further bloodshed as a pro-Morsi sit-in is dispersed in Cairo today, said Amnesty International. The organization is working on the ground to verify any abuses that may have been carried out.

"Promises by the authorities to use lethal methods only as a last resort to disperse protesters appear to have been broken,” said Philip Luther, director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International. “All too often in the past the Egyptian security forces have used excessive force against demonstrators with catastrophic consequences. Security forces have a duty to prevent further loss of life. This must be an immediate priority."

Access to the main hospital in the area near the sit-in at Rabaa al-Adawiya is also reported to be restricted.

"As an immediate step, any injured protesters must be granted unimpeded access to medical treatment. The authorities must also ensure safe exit for anyone wishing to leave the sit-in," said Luther.

More than 200 people have been killed during clashes and other political violence since President Mohamed Morsi was toppled following mass demonstrations in June.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.