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Egypt's SCAF hasn't learned, Pillay says

Dec. 19, 2011 at 3:50 PM   |   Comments

GENEVA, Switzerland, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Unspeakable violence committed by Egyptian police against unarmed protesters, especially women, has no legal justification, the U.N. human rights chief said.

Clashes in Egypt have left at least 11 people dead and more than 500 injured since Friday. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, in a statement Monday, said actions depicted in graphic images of protesters being clubbed by military and security forces are deplorable.

"People lying motionless on the ground are shown on film being smashed on the head and body with sticks," she said. "These are life-threatening and inhuman acts that cannot possibly be justified under the guise of restoration of security or crowd control."

Violence erupted after demonstrators took to the streets following a second round of voting for the country's parliament. Egyptians had expressed frustration with the pace of reform carried out by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took over after the country's revolution.

An image taken during the weekend shows what appears to be two Egyptian soldiers pulling a woman through the streets by her clothing, leaving her partially exposed.

Pillay noted that, with members of the former regime of Hosni Mubarak on trial for murder during the revolution, SCAF leaders aren't paying attention.

"It seems that Egyptian security forces and their political and military commanders have learned nothing over the past year, including the fact that actions like these simply fuel further anger and protests and make a resolution of Egypt's political, social and economic problems more difficult to achieve," she said.

She added that, with the growing number of pictures emerging from the weekend violence, that it shouldn't be hard for Egyptian authorities to prosecute those responsible for the atrocities.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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