WASHINGTON, D.C. – TIMEP strongly condemns violent clashes that occurred between Egyptian security forces and demonstrators during weekend protests held in commemoration of the fourth anniversary of Egypt’s revolution. According to initial reports, at least 23 people were killed and nearly 100 were injured over the weekend. Among those killed were student Sondos Reda and activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, both reportedly killed by birdshot while participating in peaceful demonstrations, as well as a police officer, who was killed in clashes with protesters in Cairo.
“During the 2011 revolution, Egyptians took to the streets to protest all forms of injustice, chief among them police brutality,” said TIMEP Executive Director Nancy Okail. “It is tragic that, four years later, peaceful protesters continue to be subjected to excessive force and violence by the police.”
Approximately 1,000 mourners marched in Shaimaa al-Sabbagh’s funeral procession on Monday. Meanwhile, Egypt’s Prosecutor General has ordered an immediate investigation into her death. TIMEP calls upon the Egyptian government to expand the scope of this investigation to include all allegations of police brutality and indiscriminate killings committed over the weekend, and hold accountable those found to be responsible for the deaths and injuries of peaceful protesters and onlookers. The government must also take immediate steps to ensure that security forces adhere to internationally accepted use-of-force principles in order to prevent a recurrence of such needlessly tragic events.
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The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of democratic transitions in the Middle East through analysis, advocacy, and action.