Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Egypt: MP Calls for Protesters to be Shot

Egyptian politician calls for protesters to be shot
20 April 2010

Amnesty International on Monday condemned comments by an Egyptian MP and member of the ruling party who urged the police to shoot protesters that have been calling for political reform over the last several weeks.

"I don't know why the Interior Ministry is so lenient with those who break the law," National Democratic Party (NDP) representative Hassan Nash'at el-Qassas is reported to have said on Sunday in reference to protesters.

"...Instead of using water hoses to disperse them, the police ought to shoot them; they deserve it."

The remarks were made during a parliamentary meeting, at which human rights violations committed by the police against protesters were being discussed.

More than 100 people have been arrested and dozens injured in a violent crackdown on recent protests in Egypt.

"These outrageous comments are a clear incitement to excessive force and potentially unlawful killing of protestors," said Amnesty International.

"Such a statement must be retracted immediately, to avoid giving carte blanche to security forces already known for their record of abuse as well as to avoid encouraging further abuse against protesters who are peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly," said Amnesty International. "The parliament should ask for accountability, not condone brutality."

A series of protests took place in early April following demands for political reform in the lead up to the legislative elections due in May, June and November this year.

The protesters were calling for an end to the state of emergency which for 29 years has been used by the government to curb protests, freedom of expression and violate other human rights.

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