Brutality Unpunished and Unchecked: Egypt's Military Kill and Torture Protesters with Impunity

Protesters take cover from tear gas fired by riot police near Tahrir Square in Cairo © REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
Report
October 2, 2012

Brutality Unpunished and Unchecked: Egypt's Military Kill and Torture Protesters with Impunity

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The violent dispersal by military forces of a peaceful sit-in at the cabinet offices in Cairo on December 16, 2011 ignited a week of clashes that led to the killing of at least 17 protesters. Images of soldiers beating people and ripping the clothes off a veiled woman captured the brutality of the crackdown and shocked public opinion. Many of those arrested said they were tortured in military custody, and nearly 300 were put on trial. Not a single member of the military was prosecuted for killing, injuring or torturing protesters.

This report shows how Egypt's armed forces committed with impunity grave human rights violations in response to other initially peaceful protests in Cairo during the transitional period of military rule between the "January 25 Revolution" in early 2011 and the election of President Mohamed Morsi in June 2012. In addition to the Cabinet Offices events, the report looks at the army’s response to a protest by Coptic Christians at Maspero in October 2011 and a sit-in in Abbaseya in early May 2012, which in both cases led to unlawful killings and other abuses.

Amnesty International is calling on the authorities to bring to justice the perpetrators after holding thorough, independent and impartial investigations into the serious abuses by military forces, and to refrain from passing laws that would grant military forces immunity from prosecution.