On July 3, 2013, following vast and mounting protests against President Mohamed Morsi, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Minister of Defense, announced the ousting of President Morsi, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) until he took office after elections a year earlier. Two days later, rival marches and protests in support of and against the deposed President led to widespread violence across Egypt. Eighty-eight people have been killed since Friday 5 July, including some apparently as the result of excessive and unnecessary force by the security forces. Security forces intervened too late or not at all during clashes between supporters and opponents of Mohamed Morsi. Amnesty International’s fact-finding team in Cairo were able to collect substantial evidence at the scene of some incidents and at hospitals and morgues as streams of casualties arrived.
Tensions continued to mount and on 8 July a particularly lethal outbreak of violence erupted in Cairo at a protest by supporters of Mohamed Morsi at the Republican Guard Club, a division of the armed forces. At least 54 people were killed, including three members of the security forces. Evidence gathered by Amnesty International at the scene strongly indicates that the security forces used excessive force against pro-Morsi protesters, including intentional lethal force against people who were posing no risk to the lives of security forces or others.
In a welcome move, Interim President Adly Mansour announced the creation of a judicial committee to investigate the violence. Based on how ineffective previous investigations have been, the body must have powers to subpoena witnesses, including members of the armed forces and police, and have access to official documents.
Amnesty International is calling on the Egyptian authorities to disclose which security bodies – from both the armed forces and the Ministry of Interior – were present during the incidents documented in this briefing.
The organization is also urging the authorities to ensure that all relatives of those killed and the injured receive medical certificates that indicate the real cause of death or injury. It is also calling on the authorities to conduct prompt, independent and impartial investigations into the killing and wounding of demonstrators.