AI says response to Egypt 'weak'

Aug. 19, 2013 at 11:29 AM

LONDON, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Amnesty International said Monday the international response to the Egyptian crisis has been short of what's needed given the level of violence.

Hundreds of people were killed last week as political frustration boiled over in Egypt. The military removed President Mohammed Morsi from power in July in what his political party, the Muslim Brotherhood, said was a military coup.

European Commission President Jose Maneul Barroso issued a joint statement with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy saying they were extremely worried by the violence.

"We are distressed at the loss of lives and we offer our sincere condolences to the families of the victims," they said Monday. "Further escalation must be prevented. It could have unpredictable consequences for Egypt and for its broader neighborhood."

Amnesty International said Monday the interim administration has "stained" Egypt's human rights record by breaking a pledge to use only non-lethal weapons against protesters.

AI Secretary-General Salil Shetty said the response to the violence in Egypt by members of the international community has been "weak and ineffective."

"Even if violence was employed by some of the pro-Morsi protesters, that could never justify such a disproportionate response," he stressed in a statement.

U.S. President Barack Obama last week condemned the violence but stopped short of withholding aid to the Egyptian government. European leaders said Monday they'd "urgently review in the coming days its relations with Egypt."

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