Observatory for Violence: 525 dead, 3717 injured, and assaults on churches, and private and public properties as a result of dispersing “Rabaa” and “Al-Nahda” sit-ins.

August 15th, 2013 by Editor

EOHR expresses its grave concern about incidents of violence that swept Egypt yesterday, the 14th of August, leaving 525 people dead and 3717 injured. The Organization demands the Muslim Brotherhood to stop their violent acts, and demands the utmost self-restrain from the Police’s side.

Police Force have started to disperse the sit-ins in Rabaa SQ and Al-Nahda SQ by force, Wednesday morning, 14th of August, supported by some bulldozers to remove sand and cement barricades established by the Muslim Brotherhood. They used tear gas intensively and ended the operation of crashing the sit-ins around eight O’clock in the morning.

At the same time, army forces blocked road leading to Rabaa SQ on order to start dispersing Rabaa sit-ins, and the operation ended around 7:30 pm. Accordingly, many governorates in Egypt have witnessed a wave of violence that can be summarized in the following incidents,

First, assaults on churches and private properties which belongs to Christians:

More than 37 Churches, houses, Monasteries, Shops, Schools, Club and orphanage were plundered, destroyed and set on fire in Al-Menya. Also, a Christian Citizen called Iskandar Tous, in Dalga Village, was shot after breaking into his house. Five Churches were destroyed and set on fire, one archbishopric was under siege, the assault on several houses and shops belongs to Christians and one Temple in St. Teresa Church was set on fire in Asiyout. Three Churches were set on fire, one church was plundered, and one Christian association was set on fire in Al-Fayoum. One Church was set on fire, one Church was plundered, two Churches were under siege, and one archbishopric was raided in El-Giza. Two Churches and two Christian Schools were set on fire in Suez. One Church was set on fire in North Sinai. One Church and a service building annexed to it were set on fire in Souhag. Several shops were plundered and set on fire Luxor. Finally, a Catholic School was set on fire, and one Church was thrown by rocks in Bani Souyef.

Second, assaults on Police Stations:

Pro-Morsi protestors broke-into kirdasa Police Station, killed 11 cops including the Officer in charge of the station, Brigadier General Mohamed Gabr, whose body was maimed. Also, the protestors attacked Helwan Police Station, El-Tbeen Police Station, in Cairo, and Maghagha Police Station and Abo-Korkas Police Station in Al-Menya. In addition, three Officers were killed in Abo-Zaabal Police Point, several Police Officers were kidnapped in Aswan, and one Police vehicle and two ambulances were set on fire. The assault on Police Stations by MB supporters continued in other governorates including AL-Sharqya, Bani Suef, and Alexandria.

Third, assaults on reporters and journalists:

Four journalists were shot, 15 injured, and several journalist and reporters were detained during the coverage of the incidents. The Emarati Gulf News’ reporter, Habiba Abd Al Aziz was shot in the head, Sky News’ English Photographer, Michael Dean, was shot in the heart, Al Akhbar Journal’s reporter, Ahmed Abd Al Gawad, was shot, and the death of the photographer, Mosaab Al Shamy, by a cartridge bullet. On the other hand, many reporters and photographers were detained by security forces including Reuters’ reporter, Tom Fenn, besides two others who were released after a while. Hence, the assaults on journalists, photographers and reporters were carried by pro-Morsi protestors, as well as security forces.

Fourth, assaults on Governmental Institutions:

Pro-Morsi protestors broke into the Ministry of Finance, set fire on the building and its garage, plundered it, and detained the Ministry’s head of security, Lt. Hossam Zaghlol, besides other officials in the Ministry. On the other hand, some militants occupied the building of AL-Arish City Council in Al-Arish governorate as a response to the dispersion of the sit-ins, and other angry militants attacked all governmental facilities in Al-Arish city. Other assaults on governmental institutions took place in Alexandria including Alexandria Bibliotheca, and the City Council of Alexandria. In Gize, Giza Governorate Building was set on fire.

On the light of what the country has witnessed, the Organization asserts the protestors’ right of free assembly and demonstration, which is endorsed by International covenants and agreements on human rights, without assaults or encroachments upon other citizens’ freedoms and rights like the local residents in the areas if the sit-ins, also this right should not entail any violations against others whatsoever like torture till death, using children as human shields, and the usage of weapons and arms.

The Organization also asserts that the Egyptian state should protect the rights of all citizens, especially the protestors in Rabaa SQ and Al-Nahda SQ, and they should not be legally prosecuted unless they threaten the public peace and security via using arms.

In addition, the Organization demands all parties to maintain their utmost self-restraint and to stop inciting violence; as what happened is considered an infringement of the right to living stipulated by all Human Rights’ conventions.

From his part, Mr.Hafez Abu Saeda, President of EOHR, asserted that what is happening reflects a concerted plan to push the country into a civil war. He demands from all sides to stop the bloodshed and to raise the interests of the country above all personal or collective interests. Finally, Mr. Abu Saeda warned about the grave consequences of violence and stressed on the necessity of bringing to justice whoever stirs violence within the society.



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