Human Rights Watch said Monday that 45 protesters demonstrating against military rule in Egypt last year were killed by police. The organization said police reform was a key test for the administration of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.
Nadim Houry, deputy director of Middle East affairs at Human Rights Watch, said an upcoming anniversary of a November assault by police is a reminder of endemic injustices in the country.
"Since January 2011, the police have been literally getting away with murder, again and again," he said in a statement from New York.
Human Rights Watch said riot police used force to break up November 2011 demonstrations. The rights group said 22 of the 45 people killed during the demonstrations were shot with live bullets. One police officer was put on trial on charges of attempted murder.
"The police don't appear to know how to control a crowd without using excessive force," said Houry.
Morsi has appointed a fact-finding group to investigate possible military and police abuses from January 2011 until his election in June.