HRW demands Egypt condemn minister's calls for 'mass killing'

HRW demands Egypt condemn minister's calls for 'mass killing'
3 min read
09 February, 2016
Human Rights Watch has called on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to condemn his justice minister's recent calls for the mass killing of Muslim Brotherhood members.
Zind said the fire in his heart won't be extinguished until he gets revenge [Getty]
Human Rights Watch [HRW] called on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday to condemn recent televised remarks by his justice minister that advocated the mass killing of members of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.

The human rights advocacy group urged Sisi to ensure that his government would persecute anyone who incites violence against people based on their political or ideological affiliation.

Last month, Egypt's minister of justice Ahmad al-Zind said in an interview that hundreds of thousands of Muslim Brothers should be put to death to avenge the deaths of slain servicemen.

"That a high government official charged with overseeing the rule of law would go on TV and appear to encourage the slaughter of political opponents shows how some members of the Egyptian government have abandoned any pretense of justice," said Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW's Middle East and North Africa director.

"The fact that Egyptian security forces have already committed mass killings of Brotherhood supporters, while judges have sentenced hundreds of others to death in mass trials, means that Zind's threat is very real," she added.

Zind said on the talk show of notoriously pro-Sisi media personality Ahmad Moussa that he wanted revenge for the lives of policemen and soldiers killed in terrorist attacks, which are mostly carried out by Sinai-based militants.
In July and August 2013, security forces carried out a series of mass killings against Morsi supporters and Brotherhood members, leaving at least 1,150 people dead.

"I believe the lives of 400,000 men wouldn't be enough for the righteous martyrs," Zind said.

"I swear to god, me personally… the fire in my heart will not go out unless at least 10,000 men are taken in return for each [martyr]," Zind added.

To which Moussa smilingly responded: "That would be the total number of Muslim Brothers".

Zind agreed, saying: "The Brotherhood and the people who help them, love them, are friendly with them and have grown dependent on sinful money from Turkey, Qatar and Iran."

On 31 January, lawyers from the legal committee of the Heliopolis Center filed a complaint with the country's prosecutor general accusing Zind of incitement to murder.

Since the military removed Mohammad Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president and Brotherhood member, in July 2013, Egyptian judges have issued thousands of sentences against members of the group.

Many verdicts have been based on little or no evidence following mass trials, including hundreds of death sentences that remain on appeal.

In July and August 2013, security forces carried out a series of mass killings against Morsi supporters and Brotherhood members, leaving at least 1,150 people dead.

Egypt has held no official or member of the security forces accountable for these probable crimes against humanity.