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HRW urges probe into 2013 Egypt killings

15 August 2016 16:22

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Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on the Egyptian parliament to conduct an impartial investigation into the killing of hundreds of anti-government protesters in 2013.

The rights group asked the parliament to pass a transitional justice law, allowing a new, impartial investigation into the killings “that will lead to accountability and fair compensation for victims’ families.”

“Compensation for the mass killings of 2013, though far from a complete solution, is an essential part of an effective remedy for a gross human rights violation under international law,” it said on the anniversary of the violent crackdown on Sunday.

The killings came as demonstrators were protesting the removal of President Mohamed Morsi in a military coup led by former defense minister and incumbent president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Sarah Leah Whitson of the HRW said if Sisi’s government “hopes to have any credibility with the thousands of Egyptians who have suffered over the past three years, it should ensure a serious accounting for these grave crimes.”

On August 14, 2013, Egyptian security forces killed between 800-1000 people they moved to clear a large encampment of protesters in the capital Cairo.

The HRW said the massacre “amounted to crimes against humanity.” The mass killings “remain a dark stain on Egypt’s record that no amount of spin from the government or its allies will ever wash away,” Whitson said.

The Egyptian government released the findings of its investigation into the killings in 2014, blaming protesters for the violence. It said the police response was mostly justified, and did not recommend any charges.

Human rights groups have demanded that the Egyptian government make the report public.

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