Conflict & Justice

Egypt: Morsi orders investigation into protest deaths


An Egyptian man holds a chair with a portrait of president-elect Mohamed Morsi, as others wave their national flags, during a rally in Tahrir Square in Cairo on June 29, 2012 as crowds of Egyptians wait to hear Morsi address his supporters on the eve of his swearing-in as Egypt's first civilian president.



Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's newly elected president, has ordered an investigation into the near 1,000 deaths that occured during the protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak. 

The Associated Press reported that Morsi, who was sworn in last week, has put together a 16-member committee, which will look at files from the popular uprising that caused clashes with police and soldiers in and protesters after Mubarak stepped down on February 11, 2011. 

The council is comprised of judges, a state prosecutor, a general, a top police commander, and six representatives of victims' families, according to Egypt's Middle Eastern News Agency. They are expected to present their findings in two months. 

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However, Egypt's army is largely immune from consequences for their actions, because of laws that only allow the military to prosecute its own officers, Human Rights Watch researcher Heba Morayef told the AP. 

"This committee could go some way toward pushing for accountability for excessive use of force … but I don't see it as having the capacity to recommend punishment of military officers," Morayef said.

Last month, Mubarak was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for failing to stop the killings during the 18-day protest that led to his ousting. 

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