AOHR Investigations Discredit Egypt MOI Statements in Extrajudicial Killing of 9 MB Leaders
The Arab Organization for Human Rights in Britain (AOHR) Sunday issued a preliminary report about a recent incident in which Egyptian security agencies killed nine leading members of the opposition group the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptian Interior Ministry announced the deaths in a statement on July 1, 2015, claiming they clashed with security forces in an apartment in Giza.
The following are excerpts from the AOHR report:
Based on the evidence presented by the Ministry of Interior and its statement, as well as the pictures and video clips it used, and on cross-examination of witnesses’ statements, evidence collected from the scene and photos of the bodies of some of the victims in the morgue, it was clear that the Interior Ministry’s account was totally unreasonable and contained very obvious contradictions.
In our investigation of the incident and our fact-finding endeavors, we analyzed and considered a lot of information and evidence. Moreover, we analyzed the Ministry’s evidence and statements in a strictly scientific and logical manner. Then, we compared the resulting facts. We asked the Ministry to answer some very important questions about its account of events, but it never responded.
The source of information and evidence was the families of the nine murdered Muslim Brotherhood leaders, in addition to photocopies of the burial permits showing the causes of death based on initial forensic reports, as well as video clips, photographs and detailed information contained in the Ministry’s statement. AOHR also looked into testimonies of witnesses who participated in the washing process of the victims before burial, who provided clear photographic evidence of the bodies showing injuries and marks, in addition to testimonies of neighbors in the same apartment building who denied any clash took place at that time.
A specialist forensic doctor was then consulted and shown photographic and other evidence. He made a technical statement and observations about the victims’ injuries after studying the initial medical reports.
After collecting and analyzing information and evidence from the Interior Ministry records, and having looked at technical forensic reports, it transpired that the Ministry’s account of the nine opponents’ murder was false, absurd, illogical and was not supported by any evidence at all.
By contrast, there was overwhelming evidence proving Ministry of Interior agencies killed those persons after detaining and torturing them, firing live bullets on them without any legal justification. This means that the Ministry’s action in killing them was nothing but deliberate premeditated murder outside the framework of the law.
The evidence and the autopsy confirmed that some of the murdered men were killed at a lower position in relation to their killer, while others were shot in the back of the head, the back or the side at close range, which belies the Ministry’s claim of armed resistance or clashes.
After inspecting photographs of the bodies, specialist forensic medicine investigators found that some of the dead had been tortured with beatings (with blunt weapons like batons or sticks), electric shocks, burning in different parts of the body, before getting shot dead by security forces without any resistance from the victims.
The number of documented extrajudicial executions since January 1, 2015 until now is 22 people, where evidence proved Interior Ministry stories were pure fabrications. Some 41 cases (of regime opponents killed in similar circumstances) await serious investigation. There is no sufficient evidence in their cases thus far. Meanwhile, coup investigation agencies refrain from conducting serious impartial investigations into these incidents as required by the law.
Extrajudicial killings, either directly or under torture, are the chosen methodology and deliberate practice of the coup authorities in Egypt. At the same time, media and official incitement against opponents is escalating, with accusations of terrorism thrown at opponents without any legal evidence or fair trials, thus making all Egyptian opponents likely to be killed at any time without any chance for detainees to have their fundamental rights, especially the right to life.
The Egyptian security services’ adoption of physical liquidation of dissidents and fabrication of false stories about their deaths is a serious development in this coup regime’s crimes, which requires intervention by the relevant United Nations agencies to investigate these events and to hold accountable those responsible.
Arab Organization for Human Rights in Britain
For the full AOHR report on this matter (in Arabic):