Egypt: 'People were dying all around me'; Testimonies from Cairo Violence on 14 August 2013

Report
August 16, 2013

Egypt: 'People were dying all around me'; Testimonies from Cairo Violence on 14 August 2013

At about 6.00am on 14 August 2013 the security forces carried-out operations to clear two pro-Morsi sit-ins in Greater Cairo, ongoing since 28 June 2013. The dispersal came after repeated threats by the authorities to remove the protesters, who they said were "terrorists" endangering "national security".

The smaller sit-in in al-Nahda, by Cairo University, was cleared with relative ease after a couple of hours, with clashes quickly spreading to other parts of Giza, and continuing late into the night. However, the operation to disperse the Rabaa al-Adawiya sit-in took about 10 hours, with protracted clashes documented from at least three entrances to the sit-in, and in surrounding side-streets, in some cases about 1.5 kilometres away from the radius of the main sit-in area.

As of Friday morning, Egypt's Health Ministry reported 638 deaths across Egypt. Of these, 288 were in the Nasr City neighbourhood, the site of the main pro-Morsi sit-in at Rabaa al- Adawiya Square. This makes it the bloodiest single incident since the outbreak of the "25 January Revolution" more than two years ago.