Amnesty slams ‘climate of impunity’ after Rabaa massacre

Amnesty slams Egypt's ‘climate of impunity’ on eighth anniversary of Rabaa massacre
2 min read
13 August, 2021
There has been no justice for victims of the 2013 Rabaa Massacre, says Amnesty International. Instead, there is a 'climate of impunity' in Egypt.
For several years protesters have gathered at Marble Arch in London to commemorate the anniversary of the Rabaa massacre [source: Getty]

Amnesty International has slammed Egyptian authorities for failing to hold perpetrators of the 2013 Rabaa massacre to account while upholding the death sentences of twelve people. 

More than 1,000 people were killed by Egyptian security forces at Cairo’s Rabaa Square in 2013 following the forced removal of President Mohamed Morsi. 

The human rights organisation claimed that no member of the security forces has been brought to justice on the eve of the eighth anniversary of the massacre. 

Instead, there is a "prevailing climate of impunity" in which protestors have been subjected to “a grossly unfair" trial and detained in appalling conditions. Twelve dissents have been sentenced to death at any moment. 

"Over the past eight years, it has become increasingly clear that the Egyptian authorities are intent on shielding security forces from any accountability for their role in the Rabaa massacre," said Lynn Maalouf, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North African at Amnesty International. 

Maalouf summarised what has happened since as an act of "revenge on survivors, families, and anyone who dares to criticise the dire human rights situation in today’s Egypt."

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The 12 sentenced to death by Egyptian authorities include former parliamentarian and senior figure of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed el-Beltagy and brothers Mohamed and Mostafa Abdelhai Hussein al-Faramawy. 

The former parliamentarian has been held in solidarity confinement in Cairo’s notorious Scorpion prison since his arrest in 2013 and been barred from receiving a picture of his dead daughter by visiting relatives, according to Amnesty. The brothers, meanwhile, are reportedly in a "dark and poorly ventilated small cell" in Wadi al-Natroun prison. 

Egyptian authorities do not announce when executions will happen in advance or notify next of kin. So far this year, there have been 81 executions in Egypt, and in 2020 execution numbers tripled compared to previous years. 

Amnesty have urged the Egyptian authorities to "quash these unjust death sentences and convictions."