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Press briefing notes on Egypt

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Cécile Pouilly
Location: Geneva
Date: 09 July 2013
Subjects: 1) Egypt

1) Egypt

We are alarmed at the sharp escalation of the political crisis in Egypt and deplore the fact that dozens of people have reportedly been killed or wounded since the events of July 3. On Friday alone, more than 30 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured in various clashes across the country. Yesterday, at least 51 people were reported killed and some 300 injured outside the Republican Guard compound.

We remind the Egyptian authorities that any incidents resulting in deaths and injuries require prompt, thorough and transparent investigation and those found to be guilty of wrong doing should be brought to justice. In this regard, we welcome the announcement by the interim Head of state that an investigation into yesterday’s tragic incident has been ordered. Any such investigation should be carried out by an independent and impartial body and its findings should be made public.

We call on all sides to refrain from resorting to violence and on protesters to maintain the peaceful nature of their demonstrations. We also call on the military and law enforcement officials to show utmost restraint and make sure that they comply at all times with international human rights obligations and international standards on policing, including the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.

We note the plans announced yesterday by the interim authority for the formation of a panel to amend the constitution, the holding of a referendum on proposed constitutional changes, and the holding of parliamentary elections. We also note that these plans have just been rejected by the Muslim Brotherhood. We urge all parties to engage in a constructive dialogue and in a broad-based and inclusive process to move the country forward.

We will continue to closely follow the developments and we reaffirm our readiness to assist the Egyptian people in all efforts to overcome the crisis and move towards strengthening human rights and building a legislative and institutional framework ensuring democracy and the rule of law.

ENDS

For further information and media requests, please contact Cécile Pouilly (+41 22 917 9310 or +41 79 618 3430 / cpouilly@ohchr.org) or Liz Throssell (+ 41 22 917 9434 / ethrossell@ohchr.org)

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