Date: 16 August 2013

Egypt: UN Human Rights Council urged to hold a Special Session and establish an international commission of inquiry into the killing of civilian protestors

New Delhi:  Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) today urged the President and members of the United Nations Human Rights Council to hold an emergency Special Session of the Council on the “situation of human rights in Egypt” and  establish an international commission of inquiry into the mass killing of civilian protestors in Egypt since the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi on 3rdJuly 2013 with the mandate to establish full accountability, in particular for violations which may amount to crimes against humanity.

In the latest massacre on 14th August 2013, the officials of the Ministry of Health of Egypt had so far counted 638 dead and nearly 4,000 injured in the crackdown on two protest camps outside Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque and in Nahda Square while the Muslim Brotherhood alleged that thousands have been killed and thousands have been injured. 

Earlier, on 27th July 2103, the Egyptian military unleashed a ferocious attack on Islamist protesters killing at least 72 civilian protestors and injuring hundreds. On 8th July 2013, the security forces had killed at least 51 civilian protestors and further injured hundreds.

“Until the latest massacre on 14th August 2013, the response of the international community has been to urge the Egyptian Army and the Muslim Brotherhood to maintain restraints despite the fact that it is only the Egyptian security forces who have been using absolutely disproportionate force.” – stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

“The inability of international community to appropriately condemn the massacres on 8th July and 27th July 2013 created a sense among the military officials of Egypt that international community is supporting their crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and therefore, they had no hesitation to massacre over 638 persons while injuring over 4,000 persons on 14th August 2013. Unless the UN Human Rights Council intervenes, further massacres will be perpetrated in Egypt. The UN has already set a dangerous precedent through the failure to intervene for the countries facing similar situations or authorities clinging on to power at any cost.” - further stated Mr Chakma.

Asian Centre for Human Rights further urged that the Human Rights Council resolution must specifically ensure that findings of the international commission of inquiry into the massacres in Egypt since 3 July 2013 be referred to the UN Security Council and International Criminal Court for appropriate actions. [End]