CAIRO: Egypt has surpassed the recommendations of the United Nations Office for the High Commissioner (OHCHR) in governmental and judicial procedures that OHCHR should have observed given its capacity, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said in a Thursday statement.
“The Arab Republic of Egypt expresses its astonishment over the content of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights statement, which conveyed an incomplete study of the events witnessed in Egypt Jan. 25 2015,” the statement said.
The Foreign Ministry also noted that U.N. statement ignored dozens of bombs and explosive devices planted in public places almost on daily basis by the “terrorist Muslim Brotherhood” with the aim of intimidating peaceful citizens; a “clear and explicit” violation of human rights.
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said Tuesday he was “deeply disturbed” by the death of at least 20 people during the commemoration of the January 25 Revolution, urging the authorities to end “excessive use of force.”
However, Egypt questioned the “accusation of excessive use of force” in the face of daily violations by “terrorist” groups that resort to firearms and “all forms of outlawed violence” against the police and innocent citizens.
“Hundreds of people have died during protests against successive governments since January 2011, and there has been very little in the way of accountability,” said Zeid, who also condemned the murder of three policemen during the fourth mark of the 2011 revolution.
“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,” Zeid added in his Tuesday statement.
The U.S., the U.K., and the European Union had condemned the violence between protesters and security forces during the anniversary, but Egypt, which has vocally responded to similar statements over the past year, described their assessments as “far from reality.”
Mataria, a blue-collar district northern Cairo, witnessed the vast majority of the deaths Jan. 24-26. Police spokesperson Hany Abdel Latif told ON TV Wednesday that “rioters” in Mataria do not reside in the neighborhood, and that they try to push the police into street fights in slums.
In a Monday press conference, Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim said it took the police sometime to control events in Mataria because protesters there “used everything you could possibly imagine” to attack security forces.
Nevertheless, a heated debate is still ongoing in Egypt over the Jan. 24 murder of Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, a member of the Popular Alliance Party, in a peaceful march to place flowers at a memorial in Tahrir Square. Spokesperson Abdel Latif lamented her death, but requested that no accusations be made before investigation.
Sondos Reda, 17, was killed in Alexandria Jan. 23 at a Muslim Brotherhood protest. While the Brotherhood says she was demonstrating, Secretary of the Ministry of Health Ayman Abdel Moneim told Al-Ahram newspaper she was trapped in the violence between the protesters and the police.
Egypt’s Attorney General opened an extensive investigation into the violence during the anniversary, as well as an investigation into Sabbagh’s shooting with birdshot.