Egypt: Int’l condemnation of violence ‘far from reality’
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry - AP/Amr Nabil

CAIRO:Egypt expressed Tuesday its resentment at international condemnations of the violence between the security forces and protesters during the fourth mark of the Jan. 25 Revolution in which 23 were killed and more than 90 injured.

Such statements are “far from reality,” the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

The statements neglect terrorism, killing, and arson that have been committed by “supporters of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood or by those who infiltrated among innocent citizens,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Badr Abdel-Atty in the statement.

Egypt designated the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist group” on Dec. 25, 2013 following the bombing of Dakahlia Security directorate, where 15 people were killed and dozens injured.

The United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, U.S., U.K., and EU condemned the violence witnessed in Egypt over the past two days, calling for showing restraint.

“We strongly condemn the violence that took place over the weekend in Egypt, whether against peaceful protestors or security forces,” U.S. Department of State spokesperson Jen Paski said Monday.

“We urge the Egyptian security forces to show restraint and to provide a safe environment in which Egyptians can peacefully express their views. We urge all Egyptians to exercise calm and restraint, and to unequivocally condemn all acts of violence,” Psaki added.

For his part, U.K Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood also deplored the deaths in Egypt.

“The UK condemns the acts of terrorism and stands by Egypt in the fight against terrorism. We are also deeply concerned by the use of deadly force by the police against demonstrators. Egypt’s long-term stability and success requires protection of the rights that underpin peaceful politics, including accountability of the security forces and revision of the demonstrations law,” Ellwood said in a statement.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights is “deeply disturbed” by the death of at least 20 people in Egypt since Friday, according to a Tuesday statement by Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, who urged the government to bring an end to the “excessive use of force” by security personnel.

Zeid also condemned the murder of two policemen shot at a checkpoint in Haram district in Giza, and the death of an officer during clashes between protestors and security forces in Mataria, northern Cairo, Sunday.

“Hundreds of people have died during protests against successive governments since January 2011, and there has been very little in the way of accountability,” Zeid said. “The long-term stability of Egypt is only possible if fundamental human rights are respected. It is in the interests of all sides to engage in meaningful dialogue and to make efforts to find peaceful solutions to Egypt’s many problems.”

On Sunday, the European Union (EU) called on all parties in Egypt to show restraint; “Freedom of peaceful demonstration must be safeguarded and dialogue is the only way forward,” said High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini in a statement.

This year’s anniversary was preceded by the death of Shaimaa al-Sabbaugh, who was killed by birdshot as security forces dispersed a peaceful demonstration marching to Tahrir Square Saturday.

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