Four years since Raba’a Massacre, still no accountability
Four years ago today, the Egyptian army and riot police launched a deadly onslaught on supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi holding a sit-in on Raba’a Al Adawiya and Nahda squares in Cairo. In a single day, over 800 persons were left dead and thousands more injured. To this day, no officials have been held accountable for the killings.
President al-Sisi was Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces in August 2013. Since then, extra-judicial killings have increased in Egypt under his ruling. The state violence committed with impunity in Raba’a has empowered security services to use unchecked lethal force against Egyptians over the past four years. Torture, ill-treatment and death in custody are widespread in police stations and other places of detention. Instead of promoting ‘stability’ as the Egyptian authorities claim, these heavy-handed actions have deepened a vicious cycle of violence and terrorism.
EuroMed Rights condemns in the strongest terms the prevailing impunity and failure of the Egyptian authorities to hold officials, police and army officers accountable for the use of excessive force against peaceful protesters, civil society, human rights defenders and journalists. One such example is the continued pretrial detention for over four years of a photojournalist, known as Shawkan, for taking pictures during the dispersal of the Raba’a sit-in.
We urge the Egyptian authorities to conduct independent, impartial and effective investigations into alleged unlawful use of force by the police and the army. We call upon the Egyptian judiciary to respect fundamental freedoms, including the right to a fair trial in accordance with international standards, and immediately release and drop the charges against all individuals detained solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedoms of expression, association and assembly.
Find out more about our campaign ‘Human Rights behind Bars in Egypt’.