"Catastrophic decline in human rights" one year after Mursi's ouster - Amnesty

Thursday 03-07-2014 12:02 PM

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CAIRO, July 3 (Aswat Masriya) Egypt has seen a surge in arbitrary arrests, detentions and harrowing incidents of torture and deaths in police custody, Amnesty International said on Thursday in a press release.

Amnesty said that this surge provides strong evidence of the sharp deterioration in human rights since the ouster of President Mohamed Mursi last year. 

Egypt's Mursi of the Brotherhood was ousted last year by the military following mass protests against his rule. 

The rights group cited WikiThawra, an initiative run by the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social rights, saying that at least 80 people died have died custody over the past year and more than 40,000 people were detained or indicted between July 2013 and mid-May 2014.

It added that at least 16,000 people have been detained over the past year as part of a sweeping crackdown against Mursi’s supporters and other groups and activists that have expressed dissent. 

“Egypt’s notorious state security forces –currently known as National Security- are back and operating at full capacity, employing the same methods of torture and other ill-treatment used during the darkest hours of the Mubarak era,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, an Amnesty International deputy director.

Amnesty also denounced Egypt's "grossly unfair trials", saying that according to information it gathered, Egypt’s criminal justice system has recommended the death penalty for 1,247 men, pending the Grand Mufti’s religious opinion, and upheld death sentences against 247 individuals since January 2014.

“Egypt’s criminal justice system has demonstrated that it is unable or unwilling to deliver justice with disastrous consequences,” Sahraoui said.

The London-based rights group concluded its statement by saying that Egypt "is failing in terms of human rights on every level and that it is up to the new government led by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to turn the tide by launching independent, impartial investigations into all allegations of human rights violations."

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