London and Cairo, 19 August (AKI)
Coptic Christian activists have documented over 60 attacks on churches since the army’s violent dispersal last week of sit-ins held by supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, Amnesty International reported on Monday.
The death toll rose to more than 800 protesters and bystanders since the violent dispersals of the pro-Morsi sit-ins on 14 August, according to Amnesty.
A total of 69 members of the security forces also lost their lives in the clashes, Amnesty said, citing Egyptian interior ministry officials.
Amnesty’s leadership in a statement on Monday demanded “a full, impartial and effective investigation into the shocking loss of life that has taken place in Egypt over the last week, with full accountability for whoever committed or ordered the unwarranted lethal crackdown”.
The group criticised nations’ “weak and ineffective” response to the violence.
“The international community must act decisively to send a message that no government can behave this way and retain any credibility,” Amnesty said.
A full, impartial and effective investigation? They must be joking. They already have condemned the military beforehand. Amnesty has never been impartial. But they have to keep up appearances, so they added the next sentence…
Besides “serious human rights abuses” by Egyptian security forces, Amnesty said it had documented “abuses” by pro-Morsi protesters, including beatings, torture and killings, and the firing of live ammunition.
“Protesters using violence should be held responsible for criminal acts,” it said.
United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on Sunday issued sharp condemnation of the attacks on churches, hospitals and archaeological sites.