CAIRO: Egypt has denounced the latest Human Rights Watch report that calls for an international inquiry into the 2013 dispersal of pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins of Rabaa and Nahda, describing the call as “ridiculous.”
“This report is politicized and non-objective; it lacks the minimum standards of credibility and neutrality,” Foreign Minister Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said Saturday in a statement, adding “it was released from body […] that is internationally known with selectivity and lack of credibility.” A delegation from Human Rights Watch was denied entry into Egypt in 2014, days before the release of a report that claimed casualties of up to 1,100 killed, much higher than the Egyptian government’s official figures of around 600.
In a report issued two years since the dispersal of Rabaa and Nahda, the organization called for both the United Nation Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHR) to conduct an international inquiry into the killings.
Egypt Foreign Ministry’s statement said the call for international investigations is a “ridiculous matter,” and the report also “neglects the assassinations of police personnel.”
HRW said that since the dispersal neither government official nor a security official has been held accountable for killing “at least 817 people and most likely more than 1,000 at a mass sit-in in what probably amounted to crimes against humanity.”
“The widespread and systematic nature of these killings, and the evidence Human Rights Watch collected, suggests that the killings were part of a policy to use lethal force against largely unarmed protesters, making them probable crimes against humanity,” the report read.
On August 14, 2013, security forces had forcedly dispersed the sit-ins that called for former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi’s reinstatement after being ousted by the military on July 3, 2013.
On July 17, Egypt’s Cabinet approved to rename Rabaa Square after Attorney General Hisham Barakat who was assassinated in a car bomb in June.