'Egypt denies charges of military abuse'

Report claims Morsi, Egyptian army deny allegations of misconduct committed by soldiers, doctors since revolution.

April 13, 2013 06:10
2 minute read.
Protester tries to stop Egyptian policeman, January 25, 2013

Protester tries to stop Egyptian policeman 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)

Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi alongside the army bolstered a denial of charges of military abuses committed against demonstrators since the 2011 revolution, AFP reported Saturday.

The AFP report follows publication of excerpts leaked by British newspaper The Guardian, on Thursday, from an inquiry commissioned by Morsi.

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The inquiry documented alleged abuse and malpractice conducted by senior army doctors during protests against the interim military rule in 2012, who ordered for operation on wounded demonstrators without the use of anesthesia.

The Guardian said Morsi had since January been sitting on a confidential report from a fact-finding committee recommending the investigation of top army leaders over crimes during the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak.

Killings, torture and disappearances conducted by the military since the 2011 uprising against Mubarak, were also reported among atrocities mentioned in The Guardian leaks.

In a televised statement broadcast Friday, Egyptian Defense Minister and Army Chief Adbel Fattah al-Sissi said, "I swear, by God, the armed forces did not kill nor order killings; it did not act treacherously, nor did it order treachery," AFP reported.

According to the AFP report, US State Department acting deputy spokesman Patrick Ventrel said, "For the sake of transparency, we do believe it should be made public, and we urge the government of Egypt to credibly and independently investigate all claims of violence and wrongdoing and promptly bring the perpetrators to justice," adding that US officials had not reviewed the report yet.  

On Thursday, Morsi promoted top army leaders and condemned what he called a campaign against the military, in light of the accusations of torture and killing.

Without making reference to The Guardian report, state news agency MENA said Morsi had approved the promotions of senior officers in the air force, navy and air defense. No names were given.

Morsi made the decision at a meeting of the Supreme Military Council convened to "calm the situation and end a malaise of the sons of the armed forces" which was due to a "propaganda campaign", MENA said.

Mubarak will go on trial on Saturday for the second time on charges of complicity in the murder of protesters during the uprising that unseated him.

Mubarak, former interior minister Habib al-Adli and four top aides are accused of involvement in the killing of more than 800 protesters who died in the 18-day uprising. Mubarak's two sons, Gamal and Alaa, face retrial on charges of financial corruption.

The military council which took over after Mubarak's overthrow handed over power to Morsi following his election in summer 2012.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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