ARTICLE 19 is shocked at reports that 23 people have died and 97 injured following clashes between police and protesters across Egypt in the run up to the fourth anniversary of Egypt’s 2011 uprising. It is reported that two of the dead were police officers and one of those killed was a child aged ten.
Thomas Hughes, Executive Director ARTICLE 19, said:
“Rather than declaring a week of mourning for the death of the Saudi king, Egypt would do well to focus on the deaths at the hands of its own state apparatus. Yesterday was one of the bloodiest days in Egypt since security forces killed nearly 1000 people on a single day in August 2013.
“In November last year, the government introduced anti-protest laws which severely restrict the right to peaceful assembly and allow the police to disperse protests using lethal force in breach of international standards.
“We unequivocally condemn the killings and call on the Egyptian government to immediately cease the use of excessive and disproportionate force, including against peaceful protesters, and carry out independent and thorough investigations into the killings which took place in the last few days.
“In addition Egypt should amend the protest law to ensure that use of force is a last resort and in accordance with international law.
“ARTICLE 19 also backs calls for the United Nations Human Rights Council to establish a commission of inquiry to investigate the widespread killings of protesters since July 2013.”