Egyptian government accused of crimes against humanity over coup crackdown

TEHRAN (FNA)- Egyptian lawyers plan to file a complaint at the International Criminal Court, accusing the Cairo regime of a systematic campaign of repression against protesters.

The Egyptian government killed at least 1,120 civilians and committed “crimes against humanity”, while crushing protests against last year’s coup, according to lawyers seeking an investigation by the International Criminal Court, the Telegraph reported.

Mohammed Morsi, the elected president of Egypt from the Muslim Brotherhood, was overthrown last July by Gen Abdulfattah al-Sisi, the defence minister, and replaced by a military rule.

In the days after the coup, Morsi’s supporters gathered at protest camps across Cairo. The army and police responded by forcibly clearing them.

The operation claimed at least 1,120 lives in 15 separate incidents between July and Nov last year, according to evidence gathered by lawyers instructed by Morsi’s overthrown government.

According to complaints handed to the lawyers, which are due to be lodged today (MON) with the ICC, one eyewitness saw a police bulldozer run over between 20 and 30 people. Another described how he was shot four times as the army opened fire on demonstrators with live rounds.

“The evidence suggests that Egypt’s military regime has carried out crimes against humanity on a horrendous scale, including murder, persecution, torture and enforced disappearances,” said Tayab Ali of ITN solicitors in London.

“Our inquiries have verified 1,120 killings since the coup in July last year, although the real number is likely to be substantially higher.” The bloodiest incident took place in Rabaa el Adaweya square in Cairo on Aug 14 when at least 638 people were killed.

“I heard live gunfire from the police lines,” said one eyewitness. “I heard someone screaming. I looked around and about 4m away from me I saw a man in his thirties who was lying down on the floor. He had been shot in the stomach.”

Later, the man said that he watched as police used bulldozers to destroy the barricades built by protesters, and then drive into the crowd. “I saw the bulldozer run over 20 or 30 people. I was shouting and screaming, telling the police to stop.”

A second witness at the same protest said that he was shot “in the head, chest, back and right arm”. He was rushed to a field hospital by demonstrators, where he said the facility was filled with “injured protesters with gunshots to the head” and “in some cases, their brains were spilling out”.

A third witness said that snipers were used to kill demonstrators and that shots were fired from military helicopters. Among the victims was the witness’s son. “My eldest son was shot in the chest. Although his friends took him to the field hospital on Taiaran street, he could not be saved.”

Ali said the clearance of the protest camps amounted to a “systematic campaign of repression carried out by the Egyptian army and police, with the approval of the people at the very top of the regime”.

He added the Egyptian regime must be held accountable for its crimes.

By Fars News Agency

 

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