EOHR warns against violence in peaceful protests

June 27th, 2013 by Editor

EOHR expresses its deep concern about the increase of violence throughout the country on June 26, 2013, between people pro and against Morsi.

The Ministry of Health announced, this morning, 298 people were injured during the clashes in the different governorates; amongst them 243 in Dakahleya governorate, 53 in Sharkeya, 2 in Gharbeya and one death in Mansoura.

The Muslim Brotherhood organized a march in support of the President El Gamaa’ya El Sharaa’ya Mosque, which is the biggest mosque in Mansoura and El Ghareeb. (However the mosque is not link to the Muslim Brotherhood but it belongs to the salafists, who did not participate in the march). During the afternoon prayer, a lot of pro Morsi protesters named Kata’eb El Radaa’ gathered around the mosque to protect the people praying and the marchers. However, clashes erupted between the pro and against protestors due to the usage of stones, which evoked the locals who gathered supporters, changing the scene into a war zone, in which stones, knives and firearms were used. Theses clashes extended through Port Said Street and security forces used teargas which helped bring an end to the clashes.

Two deaths were officially reported in the clashes, with about 500 wounded of both sides. Moreover, journalist, Mohammed Heira Bazeed was kidnapped. A report was made on the matter in Mansoura 1 Police Station, and locals made many negotiations with all parties involved with the kidnap. At around 2 o’clock, a local was informed through a phone call that Bazeed was under Mansoura Bridge. He was, then reached and transferred to International Mansoura Hospital in which he was treated for minor injuries and released in the morning.

EOHR reaffirms the freedom of peaceful protests and freedom of expression. These rights are guaranteed by the international agreements and conventions, amongst them, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966. Its article no. 21 states that “the right of peaceful assembly shall be recognized. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order, the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others”. And article no. 20 of the Universal declaration of Human Rights affirms that “every person is entitled to the right of participation to peaceful assembly”.

EOHR insists on the importance of this right, which should be practiced without violence, to encourage peaceful participation in political debates. It also condemns the launch of groups such as Kataa’eb El Radaa’ for terrorizing the citizens. EOHR calls the Prosecutor General for an investigation.

Additionally, Mr. Hafez Abu Seada, the head of EOHR, affirmed that the situation of the country is very worrisome as it damages the unity of the Egyptian people. He denounced violence in the Egyptian streets, and stressed on the necessary punishment of violent acts.

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