CAIRO: The deadline for a report issued by the June 30 Fact-Finding Committee on post June 30 violence has been extended to Nov. 21 by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi at the request of the committee, which cited the need to investigate new evidence as the reason for the delay.
The initial deadline of the committee, which was formed in December 2013, was set for May 2014. Former interim President Adly Mansour later extended the deadline for the report to Sept. 21.
The committee was formed to investigate events leading up to the June 30 mass protests against former President Mohamed Morsi and the spread of violence after his ouster, especially the forcible dispersal of the Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-ins on Aug. 14, 2013.
Top jailed Muslim Brotherhood leaders have refused to meet with the committee and give their testimonies over the sit-in dispersals, Al-Ahram reported committee head Fouad Abdel Moneim Riad as saying Aug. 26.
MB leaders have however accepted offers to speak with foreign human rights organizations. Omar Marwan, a spokesperson for the committee, said in May it requested a meeting with the lawyers of jailed MB leaders, but the lawyers refused.
Civil society organizations offered cooperation with the committee, but also criticized a lack of laws on witness protection and the circulation of any information gathered.
Human Rights Watch released a report on the Aug. 14, 2013 dispersals in August 2014, and described them as “crimes against humanity,” saying at least 1,000 people were killed.
An August Amnesty International report called the Rabaa dispersal a “massacre,” saying that “Egypt’s criminal justice system has been swift to arrest, try and sentence alleged former President Mohamed Morsi supporters after grossly unfair mass trials.”
Egyptian authorities strongly condemned the reports, and accused the authors of ignoring the targeting of police and military forces and “terrorism that attacks the country.”