Government Fact-Finding

Killing, Attempted Killing, and Injuring of Peaceful Protesters Across the Country

Established by:

President Muhammad Morsi

Mandate

To investigate the killing, attempted killing, and injuring of peaceful protesters across the country from January 25, 2011, to June 30, 2012.

Methodology

Interviewing victims of the violence, compiling a report of individuals accused of assaulting the protesters, and analyzing medical records. The fact-finding committee set up a website, publicly available phone numbers, and emails to communicate with the public.

Named Members

Some of the named members of the fact-finding committee included Judge Farid Fahmi Yousef al-Jazairi, Judge Muhammad Rafiq al-Bastawisi, Judge Muhammad Ezzat Ali Sharbash, Dr. Muhammad Badran, Dr. Mahmoud Qebeish, General Imad Hussein, Mr. Khaled Muhammad Ahmed Badawi, the deputy prosecutor-general, the head of the National Security Entity in General Intelligence Directorate, and the deputy minister of interior for general security. These committee members were joined by six representatives of the families of the martyrs, injured, and revolutionary youth, who participated as committee observers: Ali Hassan Ali, Ali Saeed Muhammed al-Junaidi, Ramadan Ahmed Abdo, Suleiman Hassan Muhammad, Ahmed Ragheb, and Randa Samy Muhammad. Omar Marwan was the secretary-general of the committee.

Findings

The fact-finding committee ended up investigating a number of portfolios, including the January 25 Revolution (including the Day of Anger protests and the Battle of the Camel); the dispersal of the Tahrir Square sit-ins in March 2011, April 2011, and August 2011; the Israeli Embassy events in 2011, the Abbasiya events in July 2011; the Maspero events in October 2011; the Muhammad Mahmoud events in November 2011; the cabinet events in December 2011; the Abbasiya events in May 2012; the Port Said Stadium events; the Ministry of Interior events in February 2012; the Balloon Theater events; the Manshiyat Nasser events (Kerdasa and Bulaq police stations); and the Alexandria, Suez, and Beni Suef events. It ended up submitting its report to Morsi in December 2012; Morsi then referred it to the prosecutor-general. While a summary or copy of the final, 800-page report were not made available, some of the content of the report and information on the fact-finding committee’s work was reported on in the media.

Additionally, a portion of the report covering the Muhammad Mahmoud events was leaked to the media. In this portion, the fact-finding committee determined that police and military units were at fault for the violence that broke out at the Muhammad Mahmoud demonstrations; security forces used excessive force when attempting to quell the protesters, leading to mass casualties. The committee’s leaked report went into extensive detail regarding the actions taken by security forces.

 

  • According to the report, on the morning of November 19, 2011, security forces responded to a protest against the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, engaging with protesters unjustifiably and excessively to disperse the crowd.
  • Further, police continued to attack protesters on subsequent days, even though they posed no threat to government properties. The police and military forces used live ammunition and unusually potent tear gas, killing nearly 50 individuals and injuring hundreds.
  • Analyzing medical records, the committee found that security units antagonized protesters and provoked violence, shot civilians above the waist, and attacked non-protesters, including emergency first responders.

Recommendations

Per a leaked portion of the report, the fact-finding committee recommended:

  • that judicial bodies prosecute guilty parties through fair trials and seek the input of retired, experienced judges;
  • that the government grant fact finders direct access to political institutions;
  • that security forces use safer equipment so as not to harm civilians;
  • that the government combat thuggery; and
  • that steps be taken to improve the relationship between the police and the public, among other things.

Analysis

The fact-finding committee’s inclusion of nongovernment individuals, specifically relatives of those killed or injured in the protests, was laudable and distinguished this committee from other government-sponsored initiatives in similar positions.

In the portion of the report that was leaked, the fact-finding committee’s findings adhered to the facts, relying on eyewitness narratives that legitimized evidence and conclusions. Investigators appeared impartial, interviewing a wide variety of witnesses including protesters, security forces, medical first responders, and journalists who reported on the events. The committee’s conclusions on police abuse confirmed many of the findings of the National Community for Human Rights and Law, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, and others.

The full report was not, however, released to the public, raising serious questions on transparency and the ability of this initiative to contribute to any form of truth seeking. Although a special branch of the prosecution called the Revolution Prosecution Authority was created in the wake of the submission of the report to further investigate and hold to account individuals identified by the committee’s findings, there was little to no public follow-up and the results or achievements of this authority, if any, were never made public.

Report

The leaked portion of the fact-finding committee’s final report is available here. A full copy of the report has never been made available.