Friday, May 27, 2011

Egypt must prosecute protest killings

Egypt must prosecute all those responsible for protest killings

24 May 2011

Amnesty International has called on the Egyptian authorities to prosecute all those responsible for the killings of anti-government protesters, after it was announced that ousted former president Hosni Mubarak and his two sons are to stand trial.

The three, along with Mubarak's ally Hussein Salem have been charged with "premeditated murder of some participants in the peaceful protests of the January 2011 revolution," Egypt's public prosecutor said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

"The families of those killed during protest violence have a right to justice as do all those who were seriously injured or subjected to arbitrary detention or torture, including at the hands of the military," said Amnesty International

"That Mr Mubarak and his sons are to stand trial is a very welcome step but all those found responsible for the killings and other human rights violations, such as torture, must face prosecution and must be held accountable."

"The trial must offer the victims and their families the chance to confront the defendants and get answers. This is a unique opportunity for truth to be revealed and justice to be seen to be done in Egypt."

The four men also face a series of charges related to corruption and the misuse of public funds.

Last week, Amnesty International published a report calling on the Egyptian authorities to provide justice to all of the victims of violent repression that took place during mass anti-government protests.

Egypt rises: killings, detentions and torture in the '25 January Revolution' detailed abuses that led to at least 846 deaths during the protests and set out the critical steps needed to hold those responsible accountable.

The report provided evidence of the use of excessive force by security forces in a bid to suppress protests calling for the removal of Hosni Mubarak.

Many protesters were killed by gunfire. Over 6,400 people were also injured in protests, some of them permanently.

The trial of Interior Minister Habib El Adly resumed last week and the next trial session is scheduled for 26 June 2011. He faces charges arising from the killings of protesters along with other former senior officials in the Ministry of Interior.

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