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article imageMore protesters die in Egypt protesting earlier deaths

By Ken Hanly     Aug 14, 2014 in Politics
Cairo - Four protesters were killed in Cairo demonstrations that were marking the first anniversary of Egyptian security forces' crackdown on demonstrators in Rabbaa al-Adawiya and Nahda Square who were protesting the overthrow of former president Morsi.
At least 1,000 were killed in the dispersal of the protesters last year. The four killed this year were shot and killed by Egyptian Security forces.
Just a few days ago, Human Rights Watch(HRW) issued a 195 page report. The report found that the Egyptian security forces "gunned down hundreds of unarmed protesters" when they moved in to disperse them on August 14, 2013. Even the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) report which was criticized as not representing victims of the dispersal nevertheless noted that most of the protesters were not armed and most of the victims were from that group: The report concluded that clashes began during the dispersal of the sit-in when armed protesters shot and killed a policeman. It also concluded that the majority of protesters who took part in the sit-in were peaceful protesters, adding that such peaceful demonstrators constituted the majority of the death toll at the dispersal, estimated by the council to be 632.
According to the HRW report the protests after the military-backed overthrow of Morsi grew to about 45,000 protesters and lasted over 45 days. Many protesters, ate, slept, and prayed in the squares. At the time the Muslim Brotherhood was the most popular political group in Egypt and Morsi had been elected president. Now it is categorized as a terrorist organization and most of its leaders jailed. Many have been condemned to die. The report documents the way in which: "...the Egyptian police and army methodically opened fire with live ammunition on crowds of demonstrators opposed to the military’s July 3 ouster of Mohamed Morsy, Egypt’s first elected civilian president, at six demonstrations between July 5 and August 17, 2013. While there is also evidence that some protesters used firearms during several of these demonstrations, Human Rights Watch was able to confirm their use in only a few instances, which do not justify the grossly disproportionate and premeditated lethal attacks on overwhelmingly peaceful protesters."
The HRW report said the killings at the two sites were crimes against humanity. The group called for an international inquiry into six incidents by the UN. Kenneth Roth, who is executive director of HRW and another director, Sarah Whitson were both denied entry into Egypt last Monday. Egyptian authorities said the report was "characterised by negativity and bias".
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