CAIRO: A report released Wednesday by the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) was an “unofficial summary” of the Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-in dispersals that took place on Aug. 14, Abdel Ghaffar Shokr, deputy head of the NCHR, said Thursday.
During an interview on Al-Arabiya TV channel, Shokr added that the official fact-finding report on the dispersals had not yet been released, adding that the council was open to receive any evidence regarding the dispersals from Egyptians, including Muslim Brotherhood members.
The council is not “politically affiliated” and its role “is to reveal the facts, but not to investigate,” Shokr claimed, adding that the council had denounced Ministry of Interior policies and “revealed a number of torture cases inside prisons.”
On March 5, NCHR member Mohamed Abdel Kodos had denounced the fact-finding committee report about Rabaa’s dispersal for being “biased towards the interim administration.”
The NCHR summary released on Wednesday, claimed that at least 632 people were killed during the dispersal of the sit-ins that had been held to protest the ouster of Mohamed Morsi.
The report claims that the sit-in was initially peaceful, but changed when armed individuals were allowed into the square. It also says that the state failed to secure a safe exit for protesters due to clashes that erupted between security forces and those participating in the sit-in.
The dispersal of the sit-ins led former vice-President Mohamed ElBaradei to resign.
In his resignation letter, he wrote that “there were peaceful ways to end this clash in society … that would take us to national consensus,” and that it had become difficult for him to “continue bearing responsibility for decisions that I do not agree with and whose consequences I fear. I cannot bear the responsibility for one drop of blood.”
No exact official numbers determining the number of dead have been released by the government.
Two days after the sit-in dispersals the Ministry of Health had announced that more than 600 people had died, of which some were policemen.
During a September interview with Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper, former Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawy had stated that the number of corpses was “close to a thousand; much lower than what is being claimed.”
Several eyewitnesses and human rights group claim the number of dead to be much higher.
Additional reporting by Samir Hosni and Ayman Ramadan.