Deadly Egypt clashes prompt U.N. concern

Photo: Deadly Egypt clashes prompt U.N. concern / Arabic region

A group of 27 countries on the United Nations Human Rights Council expressed concerns Friday over the Egyptian military-backed government's use of violence against opposition protesters, the first reprimand from the international body since a bloody crackdown on dissent in the country began, Al Arabiya reported.

In the U.N. declaration, the 27 countries, among them the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Turkey, called on the Egyptian government to be held accountable for its actions over the past months, and for any future investigations" findings to be made public, according to the Associated Press.

"We express concern about the restrictions on the rights to peaceful assembly, expression and association, and about the disproportionate use of lethal force by security forces against demonstrators which resulted in large numbers of deaths and injuries," the declaration read.

"Security forces have a duty to respect the right to peaceful assembly ... even when faced with persistent security challenges," it read.

The declaration was welcomed by many activists, according to the Associated Press.

"Egyptian authorities are now on notice that the international community will not ignore their crackdown on dissent and impunity for repeated, unlawful killings of protesters," Julie de Rivero, Geneva director at Human Rights Watch said.

Protests and clashes continue almost weekly around the country, as Mursi supporters call for protests nearly every Friday since the military ousted their leader in July.

On Friday, clashes erupted in several places, including the Alf Maskan neighborhood of Cairo.

During the clashes, three people were killed and 28 were injured, the Egyptian Health Ministry said in a statement.

The three were killed in Cairo while the injuries were mostly from four provinces, the ministry said.

Some of the injuries were from birdshot, which is frequently used in clashes, Khaled el-Khateeb, head of the Health Ministry's emergency and intensive care department, said.

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Tags: UN, Egypt