Egypt: 846 protesters were killed during revolution

State committee concludes Egyptian police used excessive force against protesters; death toll more than double initial official reports.

By REUTERS
April 19, 2011 23:19
3 minute read.
Protesters fill Egypt's Tahrir Square

Protesters fill Egypt's Tahrir Square Cairo 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

CAIRO - A state-appointed committee concluded on Tuesday that Egyptian police used excessive force against pro-democracy protesters in a damning report on their conduct during the unrest that toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

The report was the first official account of the mass demonstrations that began on Jan. 25 and eventually ended the autocratic 30-year rule of Mubarak on Feb. 11.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Justice for dictators may backfire in more violence
'Mubarak may be hanged if he ordered rioters' deaths'

The report said 846 protesters were killed and more than 6,000 wounded. Authorities had initially put the death toll at almost 380. Twenty-six policemen were also killed.

Many of the events described by the Fact Finding Mission, which took more than two months to compile the report, unfolded on live television and come as no surprise to Egyptians who witnessed the uprising.

But human rights activists said the report was a significant step towards holding the former administration accountable, one of the central demands of the protesters.

"The right of peaceful assembly is a recognized and basic human freedom," the government appointed committee said in its report, which will be used as evidence in court trials and investigations by the Public Prosecutor.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


"It is needless to say that the incidents of shootings and the consequential deaths throughout the events of the January 25 Revolution breached legally mandated regulations," it said.

The report said police had used live ammunition, in addition to rubber bullets and water cannon against the protesters, and drove armored vehicles into the crowd, killing many.

It cited one officer who testified he was given orders to fire at protesters. The committee said it had evidence that buildings adjacent to Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the 18-day uprising, were used by snipers, adding that many of those killed were shot in the chest and the head.

'Holding those responsible accountable'

"The committee sees that there was an order from the ministry of interior authorizing the use of live ammunition to disperse protesters," the report said, adding that those in power had sanctioned the use of live bullets.

Egypt's former interior minister Habib al-Adli and four other senior officers are already facing trial on charges of killing protesters during the uprising.

Mubarak is also being investigated on the same charges, which he denies.

The report said police officers were ordered to withdraw from the streets, while looting was under way, to create chaos and instill fear in the nation to thwart the protests.

During the uprising, media reported prison breakouts and the report said that some evidence suggested that this happened with the knowledge of the police.

It said in some cases, security forces fired tear gas and bullets at prisoners to force them to escape. Other reports indicate the police let them out of their cells.

The security forces were also implicated in sending out plainclothes personnel, armed with batons, knives, guns and petrol bombs, to assault the protesters. Some of these men charged at the protesters, on the back of horses and camels, during one of the most dramatic days of the uprising.

Hafez Abou Saeda of the Egyptian Organization of Human Rights said the report would help the state prosecutor bring many former officials to justice.

"This report is very well done. It will be one of the foundations for judicial trials and will be cornerstone to holding those responsible accountable," he said.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
October 16, 2018
The curious case of ‘woke’ Ahmadinejad

By LAHAV HARKOV