Amnesty International says Egyptian security forces used live ammunition to disperse supporters of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and ousted President Mohamed Morsi on October 6.
In a statement issued on Monday, the human rights watchdog said at least 49 people were killed and hundreds wounded in Cairo alone as security forces used “excessive and unwarranted lethal force” to disperse the demonstrators, AFP reported.
Amnesty said that in some instances security forces stood by as men in civilian clothing used firearms, knives, and swords to attack pro-Morsi crowds.
“The Egyptian security forces patently failed to prevent the loss of life. In a number of cases bystanders or non-violent protesters were caught up in the violence,” Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in the statement.
“Although some pro-Morsi protesters threw rocks, burned tires and used fireworks or other incendiaries against security forces and local residents, the security forces… resorted to the use of lethal force when it was not strictly necessary,” she said.
Sahraoui called for a thorough and unbiased investigation into the killings, saying that “Egyptian security forces have an abysmal track record of using disproportionate force during protests.”
“The authorities’ utter disregard for international standards on the lawful use of force suggests that they are prepared to crackdown on Morsi supporters at any cost,” she noted.
On October 6, security forces clashed with pro-Morsi crowds in Cairo as they tried to reach the capital’s Tahrir Square where supporters of the military were celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Arab-Israeli war.
The Egyptian health ministry said at least 57 people were killed across the country on the day of the bloody crackdown, including 48 in the capital.
The clashes were the deadliest since security forces moved in to clear out thousands of pro-Morsi supporters from their camps in Cairo on August 14, leaving hundreds of people dead.
The massacre sparked international condemnation and prompted world bodies to call for an independent investigation into the violence.
Egypt has been experiencing unrelenting violence since July 3, when the Egyptian army ousted Morsi, suspended the constitution, and dissolved the parliament. The army also appointed the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Mahmoud Mansour, as the new interim president.
Morsi has been held in an unknown location since his overthrow. He is due to stand trial on November 4 on charges of inciting violence.
Morsi and other Brotherhood leaders have accused the military of launching a coup that reversed the gains of the 2011 revolution against former dictator, Hosni Mubarak.
Egypt’s military-installed interim government has launched a bloody crackdown on Morsi supporters and arrested more than 2,000 Brotherhood members, including the party’s leader, Mohamed Badie, who was detained on August 20.
By Press TV
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