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counterpunch, 28 novembre 2013

Egypte : How Amnesty International was Played by the Junta

par Mohamed MALIK and Mohamad OMAR


A wounded protester is helped by a fellow supporter (R) of president Mohamed Morsi, a riot policeman (C) and a photographer during clashes that followed an operation by Egypt’s security forces to dismantle a protest camp set up by Morsi’s supporters in Cairo’s Al-Nahda square on August 14, 2013

On 2 August 2013, Amnesty International issued a press release which said that evidence, including testimonies from survivors, indicated that supporters of "deposed President Mohamed Morsi" at the Raba’a al-‘Adawiyya and at the Nahda protest camps tortured and killed individuals from "a rival political" group. The press release was entirely based on statements made by three individuals Mastour Mohamed Sayed, Ahmed El Kelhy, and Hassan Sabry, who were described as "anti-Morsi protesters". It quoted the Egyptian Ministry of Interior as saying that on 30th July, 11 bodies bearing signs of torture have been found since the outbreak of the crisis, a number which a campaign group called “I am Against Torture” said to Amnesty International that it had verified.


Egypte

There was no independent verification of any of this on the part of Amnesty International except that Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa said in the press release that investigations into all of this were necessary. Nevertheless, its content went viral over the internet and became grist to the mill of pro-Egyptian Junta websites, as well as Zionist websites with the same agenda as the Junta, in order to bring the hue-and –cry against the Muslim Brotherhood to a higher and shriller pitch. We, as a group of protesters constantly present at the Nahda protest camp from July 3rd to its crushing by military force on August 14th 2013, can testify that this certainly didn’t happen at Nahda, and that we have many colleagues who would testify that none of this happened at Raba’a. However, our word on this isn’t enough and on the 100 day-anniversary of the Raba’a and Nahda massacres, al-Jazeera has issued a documentary on the subject which not only backs up our claims but also demonstrates how the Egyptian Junta developed and spun that disinformation which was made to gain credibility by emerging into the media space through the auspices of Amnesty International.

Egyptians search for valuables among the debris from a protest camp in Nahda Square, Giza, Cairo, on Thursday, August 15, 2013

The al-Jazeera documentary starts with the Egyptian Minister of the Interior, Mohammed Ibrahim making the 30th July claims mentioned above, on state media. The principal charge during that appearance accuses the Muslim Brotherhood of torturing political opponents at the Raba’a protest camp until death and burying them under the main podium, which was erected front of the mosque for the purpose of hosting preachers, lecturers, and leading protest figures, as well at times for the entertainment of the protesters by singers, comedians and satirists. On the day of the massacre, the 14th August, the Junta media, both state and private satellite TV stations, swooped in on the site, which until then they had not been allowed to enter. Ever since the enforced closure of all Egyptian media opposed to the coup, only the London based al-Hiwar and al-Quds channels, and the Qatar based al-Jazeera covered the protests. The documentary describes how the frenzied Junta media on the day of the massacre centred its attention on Raba’a, which was by far the larger of the two protest camps. The focus was on twenty shrouded corpses lined up in front of the Raba’a podium, held by the Egyptian Junta to be anti-Morsi protesters who had been killed during the protests and said to have been stored under the podium. Here was to be final and incontrovertible proof of the Minister of Interior’s claims.

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AUTEURS 

  • Mohamed MALIK and Mohamad OMAR

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    éditeur : Frank Brunner | ouverture : 11 novembre 2000 | reproduction autorisée en citant la source