3 August 2013

Egypt: Evidence Suggests Torture Practiced By Mursi Supporters - Amnesty International

Photo: Daniel Finnan/RFI
A revolution in chains - a protester demonstrates his feelings outside the Constitutional Court in Cairo.

Supporters of deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi have tortured individuals from their rival political camp, said an Amnesty International report issued Friday on account of testimonies from survivors and evidence it collected.

"Allegations that torture is being carried out by individuals are extremely serious and must be investigated as a matter of urgency," urged Amnesty International's Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.

The international organization's report recounted details of anti-Mursi protesters being "captured, beaten, subjected to electric shocks and stabbed by loyalists to the deposed president."

"Since mass rival rallies began in late June, as of 28 July, eight bodies have arrived at the morgue in Cairo bearing signs of torture. At least five of these were found near areas where pro-Mursi sit-ins were being held," said the report.

On July 30, the Ministry of Interior said that 11 bodies bearing signs of torture have been found near the protest camps of Mursi loyalists, in addition to 10 complaints of torture reported by survivors.

In support of official accounts, the "I am Against Torture" campaign group told Amnesty International that it had independently verified that 11 people have died following torture at the hands of Mursi supporters since the beginning the crisis.

"The apparent use of torture for reprisal attacks is unacceptable. People should not take the law into their own hands. Political leaders have a responsibility to condemn these criminal acts and call on their supporters to renounce such human rights abuses."

Concurrently, Amnesty urged the Egyptian government not to use these crimes, which it stressed they were carried out by few, as a pretext to collectively punish all pro-Mursi supporters or use excessive force to disperse their sit-ins.

Loyalists to deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi have been holding sit-ins for more than a month in Rabaa al-Adawiya and Nahda Square, demanding his reinstatement following his overthrow by the army that came in response to mass protests across Egypt. They also started a new sit-in near the capital's international airport.

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