Geneva - Cairo

According to the fieldworkers of seven international human rights organizations in Cairo, at least 230 protesters were killed on Wednesday morning as security forces opened fire on the Rabaa El Adaweya and Nahda sit-ins.

The undersigned organizations said in a press statement on August 14 that as police helicopters hovered overhead and huge plumes of black smoke billowed into the morning sky security forces armed with semi-automatic rifles and tear gas laid siege to the sit-in from roads surrounding the camp on several sides. Among the victims are 26 children, women and elderly, while protesters were deliberately shot in the head or the chest.

Sandra Owen, Researcher at the Euro-Med Monitor for Human Rights, stated that “the use of excessive lethal force by the security forces against a majority of peaceful supporters, shows an unprecedented level of disregard for human life, and indicates the bloody escalation, initiated by the Egyptian Armed Forces, that will drag the country into more bloodshed in the coming month”.

The human rights organizations warned previously of the threat of failing to reach civic peace and security, which might lead to a civil war.

The undersigned organizations hold the Egyptian authorities responsible for the bloodshed, particularly after forcibly breaking up the peaceful sit-ins. The perpetrators of these crimes against human lives will not escape from accountability and will be brought to justice.

The international human rights organizations include the Euro-Med Monitor for Human Rights (Switzerland), Rights for All (Switzerland), Friends of Humanity International (Austria), Justice Center (Sweden), Liberté and Equité (Tunisia), United States Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) (USA), Journal for International Criminal and Humanitarian Law (JICHL) (USA).