Egypt: Time for extreme caution and restraint

With the ousting of President Morsi in Egypt, Amnesty International urges the security forces, including the army, to do all within their power to protect the human rights and safety of everyone in Egypt, regardless of their political affiliation.

The armed forces and the police in Egypt have a well documented record of human rights violations which must not be repeated. The army stated that it will deal with any acts of violence with the “utmost force and determination”.

“In this time of great tension and with the constitution suspended, it is more important than ever that the military comply with Egypt’s obligations under international human rights law,” said Salil Shetty, General Secretary of Amnesty International.

“There has already been a blow to freedom of expression, with several TV channels which supported the President silenced and staff reportedly arrested immediately after his overthrow. Amid fears of possible reprisals and revenge attacks against supporters of President Morsi, along with the worrying trend of mob violence and sexual assaults on women this is a time for extreme caution.”

“No one should be punished for the peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association or assembly. Anyone taken into detention should be charged promptly with a recognisable criminal offence, or released. And security forces should refrain from using unnecessary and excessive force,” said Salil Shetty.

Amnesty international currently has observers in Egypt and is monitoring the situation.