Amnesty International Warns of Greater Violence during the Presidential Elections

Amnesty International Warns of Greater Violence during the Presidential Elections

Amnesty International demanded the Egyptian authorities to open a serious investigation into the violence that took place during the elections which have just ended. It warned that failure to take this step will result in greater violence during the presidential elections next year.

In a statement to Al-Shorouq newspaper, Said el-Hadaddi, spokesman for Amnesty International based in London said it is important that the government investigates the matter, as the failure to do so will have a negative impact on the presidential elections “because the people who committed all this violence would think that they can escape the punishment”, therefore greater violence would result.

He pointed out that investigating violent crimes including deaths might be a deterrent for those who committed these crimes.

Hadaddi revealed that Amnesty had four people monitoring the situation in Egypt during the elections “through cooperating with some human rights organizations which formed a working group to document human rights abuses during the electoral process.”

These organizations received complaints on the violations that took place all over the country. Hadaddi stressed that the delegation visited a number of constituencies in Cairo including: Old Cairo, Al-Matareya and Shubra Al-Kheima.

Hadaddi stressed that the delegation was involved in monitoring human rights violations during the elections but was not involved in observing the electoral process itself. He pointed out that Amnesty International saw that a number of violations had occurred before or during the elections, as the electoral process is not only one day but a process that starts before the day of elections and continues during Election Day.

He believed that these violations had an impact on the electoral process as it included violations of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and freedom of assembly. Also, a huge number of people supporting the opposition were arrested before Election Day to disrupt their preparations for the elections.

Hadaddi, researcher in the Middle East and North Africa Programme in Amnesty International, stated that the elections included violations against some journalists who could not even stand in front of the electoral committees while other journalists had their equipment destroyed.