07/17/2018, 08.57
EGYPT
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Egyptian officers get immunity over 2013 crackdown

Officers will gain ministerial privileges and immunity for any crimes, including when they travel abroad. More than a thousand protesters are believed to have been killed during one of the bloodiest episodes in Egypt's modern history. Activists complain that Egyptian authorities are using the legal system and the courts to unjustly prosecute journalists, activists, and critics. 

Cairo (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Egypt’s parliament has passed a law to protect senior military commanders from prosecution in connection with the deadly crackdown that followed the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi.

The current President, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, will be able to name officers he wants to give lifelong reserve status.

They will gain ministerial privileges and immunity for any crimes committed between July 2013 and June 2014.

More than 1,000 protesters are believed to have been killed during that period

Between 16,000 and 41,000 other people were reportedly arrested or detained, and hundreds were handed death sentences after mass trials.

Most of them were supporters of Morsi's now-banned Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, but liberal and secular activists have also been targeted.

That period featured one of the bloodiest episodes in Egypt's modern history. On 14 August 2013, soldiers and police violently broke up two sit-ins by tens of thousands of Morsi supporters in Rabaa al-Adawiya and Nahda squares in Cairo, killing at least 900 people.

Security forces also reportedly killed 60 protesters gathered outside the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo on 8 July that year; 95 protesters at the Manassa Memorial on 27 July; and 120 protesters at Ramses Square on 16 August. 

An Egyptian government committee looked into the killings and did not recommend charges against any government official or member of the security forces.

But Human Rights Watch said the widespread and systematic nature of those killings suggested that they were part of a policy to use lethal force against largely unarmed protesters.

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