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Africa

UN calls for probe into deadly Egypt crackdown

Video by François PICARD

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-11-23

The United Nations human rights chief has called for an independent probe into the ongoing violence in Egypt. Several hundred protesters have been injured and dozens killed in the crackdown by government forces.

REUTERS - U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay called on Wednesday for an independent investigation into violence in Egypt and said she deplored the killing of protesters by military and security forces, which was inflaming the situation.

“I urge the Egyptian authorities to end the clearly excessive use of force against protesters in Tahrir Square and elsewhere in the country, including the apparent improper use of teargas, rubber bullets and live ammunition,” Pillay said in a statement.

She added that “the actions of the military and security forces, instead of improving security and helping Egypt’s difficult transition to democracy, have once again simply served to inflame the situation”.

“There should be a prompt, impartial and independent investigation, and accountability for those found responsible for the abuses that have taken place should be ensured.”

Egyptians overthrew President Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11 and many had hoped for a smooth transition to democracy, only to be dismayed at the military’s apparent reluctance to step aside after taking control over the country during the interregnum.

Egypt starts a parliamentary election on Monday but, under a complicated electoral system, the upper and lower houses will only be in place next March, when they will pick an assembly to draw up a new constitution.

The slow pace of change, which is seen as suiting the ruling generals and Islamist parties, has sparked the protests in which - by a Reuters count - 37 people have died.

Pillay noted media reports of unarmed protesters being shot in the head and many others being arbitrarily rounded up, and called on the authorities to ensure a peaceful environment in the lead-up to next week’s elections.

“Instead, we are seeing another outbreak of violence by the state against its increasingly and legitimately angry citizens.”


 

Date created : 2011-11-23

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