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Rights group critical of Egyptian response to protests

Jan. 27, 2014 at 9:37 AM

PARIS, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- A French human rights consortium said Monday it was appalled by reports at least 40 people died as a result of weekend political violence in Egypt.

Egypt marked Saturday as the third anniversary of the popular uprising that toppled long-time President Hosni Mubarak. Egypt's post-revolution sense of security was rattled first by frustration with the policies of President Mohamed Morsi in 2012 and then by a military decision the following year to remove him from office.

International Federation for Human Rights, known by its French initials FIDH, said military and police used live ammunition on pro-Morsi and pro-government demonstrators gathered in Cairo's central Tahrir Square, the main stage for the 2012 revolution.

"FIDH urges the Egyptian authorities to open thorough independent and impartial investigations into the grave human rights violations committed on Jan. 25, 2014, in order to bring those responsible before justice and put an end to what has become a culture of impunity," it said in a statement Monday.

Ahram Online, an Egyptian news website, reported Monday more than 50 of the 64 confirmed casualties died as a result of gunshot wounds. The report didn't indicate which party was responsible for the deaths, but said police were quick to use force in response to weekend protests.

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