The undersigned human rights organizations are deeply concerned by reports and testimonies indicating that groups of demonstrators on Friday, 22 March, targeted individuals for the purpose of physically harming them. Citizens were targeted during clashes at various sites in Muqattam, and several vehicles were stopped and their passengers assaulted based on the belief that they were affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, due to their outward appearance or because the car bore license plates from outside Cairo.
We stress that all parties’ recourse to physical violence and the arrest and assault of persons based on their identity will have catastrophic consequences for the country.
The undersigned organizations reiterate that a revolution that opposed torture and aspired to promote the value of human dignity must never deviate from these objectives, even in the face of its bitterest enemy.
We further stress that these practices are unacceptable from any party. The increasing frequency and public acceptance of these practices is extremely dangerous. It signals that citizens, observing the actions of some state institutions, have lost confidence in legal channels designed to uphold and enforce their legitimate rights. Feeling they cannot find justice, some have adopted other methods.
The undersigned organizations note that those in power bear a special responsibility for the situation. It is they who deployed civil violence during the Ittihadiya events in December, while prominent leaders have repeatedly threatened to escalate the violence, all the while studiously ignoring assaults on citizens. These actions only served to escalate matters, bringing us to the events in Muqattam, the location of the main office of the Muslim Brotherhood, the president’s group.
Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
Hisham Mubarak Law Center
Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance
Appropriate Communications Techniques for Development
Egyptians Against Religious Discrimination
New Woman Foundation
Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression
El Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights