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Egypt continues crackdown on Brotherhood - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Muslim brotherhood members and ousted president Mohammed Morsi supporters light up flares during a demonstration against the military backed government on September 10, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. (AFP/Mahmoud Khaled)

Muslim brotherhood members and ousted president Mohamed Mursi supporters light up flares during a demonstration against the military backed government on September 10, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. (AFP/Mahmoud Khaled)

Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—Egyptian authorities referred 30 senior Muslim Brotherhood members to criminal court on Wednesday for their alleged involvement in deadly clashes earlier this year, one day after international organizations decried Cairo’s post-June 30 clampdown on the Islamist organization.

Amnesty International on Tuesday called for an independent investigation into alleged incidents of killings and torture carried out by Egyptian security forces following President Mohamed Mursi’s ouster.

According to Peter Splinter, Amnesty representative in Geneva, “Between 14 and 18 August, at least 1,089 people were killed, many due to the use of excessive, grossly disproportionate and unwarranted lethal force by security forces.”

“The scale of human rights violations, including of the right to life, the right to fair trial, the right to be free from torture, the right to freedom of expression and assembly, demands an urgent, impartial, independent and full investigation,” he added.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay had earlier issued similar calls for an independent inquiry into the violence, in addition to a UN team being sent to the country to assess the situation.

“The path to stability in Egypt lies in its ability to establish the rule of law in an inclusive manner that ensures that all Egyptians, irrespective of their political opinion, gender, religion, or status, are recognized as legitimate stakeholders in the future of their country,” she said.

However Egyptian authorities denied any claims of wrongdoing for the violence that took place between 14 and 18 August, laying the blame with the Muslim Brotherhood. First Attorney for the South Cairo prosecutor, Judge Tarek Abu Zeid, referred a number of senior Muslim Brotherhood figures for trial for their alleged role in the violence, including former supreme guide Mehdi Akef, Freedom and Justice Party leader Saad El-Katatni, and spokesman Mohamed El-Beltagy.

The 30 Muslim Brotherhood defendants are charged with inciting violence and attempted murder, as well as possession of arms and explosives which were allegedly to be used for the purposes of “terrorism” during the 30 June protests. The defendants denied all charges during the investigation.

In related news, the massive nation-wide protests called for by the Muslim Brotherhood for Tuesday demanding the reinstatement of President Mohamed Mursi failed to materialize. Police, meanwhile, arrested dozens of figures wanted in connection of crimes committed during the dispersion of pro-Mursi protests in Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Nahda Squares last month.

Egyptian police also reportedly arrested 15 people in connection with an attack on Tamarod (Rebel) movement founder Mahmoud Badr on Monday. According to Egyptian state media, Badr was stopped by assailants as he drove home from Qalioubiya on Monday. His car was stolen and he was robbed; it is not known if this attack is related to the leading role that Badr and his Tamarod movement played in ousting former President Mursi.