Promises by the authorities to use lethal methods only as a last resort to disperse protesters appear to have been broken. All too often in the past, Egyptian security forces have used excessive force against demonstrators with catastrophic consequences.
Amnesty International working on the ground to verify any abuses that may have been carried out after a pro-Morsi sit-in was dispersed in Cairo today. We also stress Egyptian security forces must take urgent steps to avoid further bloodshed.
Access to the main hospital in the area near the sit-in at Rabaa al-Adawiya is also reported to be restricted.
Security forces have a duty to prevent further loss of life. This must be an immediate priority. Any injured protesters must immediately be granted unimpeded access to medical treatment. The authorities must also ensure safe exit for anyone wishing to leave the sit-in.
More than 200 people have been killed during clashes and other political violence since President Mohamed Morsi was toppled following mass demonstrations in June.