Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

26 August 2014

Egypt: Jailed Brotherhood Leaders Refuse to Meet With June 30 Fact-Finding Committee

Cairo — The June 30 fact-finding committee condemned on Tuesday jailed Muslim Brotherhood leaders' refusal to cooperate with it.

The committee, established by former interim President Adly Mansour to investigate violent acts which took place since June 2013, said it is working hard to represent all sides in the report it is scheduled to issue next month.

Fouad Abdel Moneim Riad, the committee's chairman, told reporters on Tuesday that there is "no justification to the negative way the Brotherhood view the committee." He described the committee as "neutral" and not affiliated with the government.

Riad said that the ministry of interior has forwarded to the committee all documented information it has regarding the forcible disarmament of two camps set up in support of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi. The camps, the Rabaa al-Adawiya sit-in and the Nahda sit-in, were dispersed by security forces on August 14, leaving behind hundreds killed.

"The Brotherhood is bound to disagree with the interior ministry's [account]," Riad reportedly said. He condemned the Brotherhood's lack of cooperation "at a time they agree to cooperate with foreign human rights organisations carrying out the same mission."

International watchdog Human Rights Watch released two weeks ago a 195-page report on Rabaa's dispersal, ahead of the dispersal's first anniversary.

The report, entitled "All According to Plan: The Rabaa Massacre and Mass Killings of Protesters in Egypt," accused Egypt's security personnel of "systematically" killing at least 1,150 pro-Mursi protesters in July and August 2013. It added that such killings "probably amount to crimes against humanity."

Omar Shakir, an HRW fellow, told Aswat Masriya that the organisation interviewed "a wide variety of different witnesses, including some Muslim Brotherhood members and leaders" for the report.

Riad said the committee will use the Brotherhood members' accounts documented in the report, in addition to the accounts of other Brotherhood members who cooperated with the committee to represent "both points of view."

Shakir said that HRW has not been granted access to Egyptian prisons for over two decades and therefore hasn't met with any detained Brotherhood members for its report.

Jailed Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Leader Khairat al-Shater has earlier met with the June 30 fact-finding committee.

Mansour ordered the committee's formation last December to gather data and evidence on events that occurred during and after the June 30 protests which led to Mursi's military ouster last year.

The committee is scheduled to release its report in September. Riad said on Tuesday that the report will reveal "based on documents" the party which started the violence during the pro-Mursi sit-ins' dispersal.

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