FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ottawa - August 13th - The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD) is holding two major events to honour those how lost their lives while peacefully protesting, in two open squares, the military coup led by Abdel Fattah El-Sissi, July 3rd 2013 against the first democratically elected president and his government in a mass murder operation. Human Right Watch called it in its detailed report "All according to Plan".
ECCD is also honouring the victims of this bloody coup who have been detained, subjected to torture, extrajudicial assassinations almost 100 have been executed without due process, and several hundred death sentences have been issued. ECCD is equally rto mind the thousands who were detained. It is estimated that the Egyptian authorities currently hold about 60,000 political prisoners. Among them, twelve men, including former MPs, government ministers, and physicians have been sentenced to death by Egypt's highest appeals court, the Court of Cassation, on June 14th 2021. The men face imminent execution if their sentence is confirmed by Abdel Fattah El Sisi.
The various commemoration events are
- Rally at Mississauaga Celeberation Square, Saturday August 14th 2 PM EDT
- Rally at Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Saturday August 14th, 3 PM
- An international Zoom Conference, Saturday August 14th 2 PM EDT, organized by the International "Stop Executions in Egypt" campaign with participants including human rights activists and politicians in Canada and worldwide, including former Tunisian President Moncef Al Marzouki. Click here to join the Zoom meeting.
- Blood Drive in collaboration with the Canadian Blood Services in various cities in Canada in honour of the victims of the Rabaa Massacre
On this sad occasion, ECCD also honours the journalists who were deliberately targeted while covering the tragic events unfolding at Rabaa and El-Nahda camps and other protests. The most recent case being the detention of veteran journalist Abdel Nasser Salama, who through an opinion published on his FaceBook page, called for El Sissi to resign (August 2021).
ECCD is inviting all those who care about human rights to show their solidarity by joining us.
About ECCD: The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD) is a politically independent, non-affiliated pan Canadian organization that advocates for democracy and human rights in Egypt. The ECCD has representatives in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.
For more information:
Mohamed Kamel: (514) 863-9202
On June 30 2013, exactly one year after the late Dr.Mohamed Morsi was democratically elected as president, large numbers of disenchanted people gathered in Tahrir square demanding the departure of Morsi. It is well documented now that these protests were encouraged and funded by those opposed to the Arab Spring aspirations. Three days later, General Abdel Fattah El Sisi, at the head of the armed forces forcefully deposed Morsi under the pretext of responding to the call of the people.
Supporters of the late deposed president replicated by occupying two squares — Rabaa al-Adawiya in Nasr city, Cario and al-Nahda in Giza — to protest his ouster, vowing to remain until Morsi was reinstated.
On July 27, 2013 about 100 protesters gathered in Nasr City, were mowed down by special police forces under the pretext that they were attacking police headquarters. Political analyst Larbi Sadiqi writes 'July 27, 2013 will go down in the annals of history as an infamous day not dissimilar to June 4, 1989, when the Chinese government used disproportionate force in Tiananmen Square, snuffing out a peaceful protest with violence'. And he rightly predicted that this was just the beginning as internal and external reconciliation attempts failed to resolve the crisis peacefully. Unfortunately, he couldn't have been more clairvoyant.
On 14 August 2013 Egyptian security forces raided the two camps of protesters in what was described by Human Rights Watch as the most serious incident of mass unlawful killings in modern Egyptian history.
By 8:00 the smaller Al-Nahda camp — near Cairo University in Giza — was cleared of protesters, but it took about 12 hours for police to take control of the main sit-in site near the Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque that has served as the epicenter of the pro-Morsi campaign. The police in riot gear used tear gas, rubber bullets, birdshot and live ammunition to disperse the protesters while being supported by bulldozers to clear barricades and covered by armored vehicles and snipers on rooftops.
According to the Egyptian Health Ministry, 638 people were killed on 14 August, of which 595 were civilians and 43 police officers, with at least 3,994 injured. The actual numbers are reported to be much higher although many victims were never accounted for, either because they were missing or their death certificates indicated natural causes for their demise.
On 10 December 2013, thirteen Egyptian and international human rights organizations urged Cairo's interim authorities to probe the mass killing of protesters in the capital on 14 August. To this day, there has been no independent investigation.
Egyptian state television aired images purporting to show weapons confiscated from the sit-in protester's camps, including automatic rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition. However, various journalists and news agencies discredited these claims as multiple independent journalists had visited and inspected the camps for weapons prior to the attacks, finding none of the purported weapon caches.
In addition to those murdered sur place, thousands were detained, and tried on trumped up charges.
The trials have been described by Amnesty International as "grossly unfair" and that they "cast a dark shadow over the country's entire justice system". Human Rights Watch described it as a "mockery of justice" and demanded to "void their execution and put an end to Egypt's profligate use of the death penalty".
During the dispersal, journalists covering the event were targeted. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, it was the deadliest day for journalists in Egypt since the organization began keeping records in 1992. Veteran Sky News camera operator Michael Deane, 61, was killed although he was wearing a helmet that clearly identified him as a journalist. Also killed was Egyptian journalist Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz, 26, working for Gulf News publication XPRESS newspaper, and Egyptian reporter Ahmed Abdel Gawad, who was with the Al-Akhbar state-run newspaper and was an editorial manager for the Muslim Brotherhood television satellite channel Misr 25, as well as Rassd News Network (RNN) photojournalist Mosab El-Shami. Among the journalists most seriously injured were Al-Watan editor Tariq Abbas, who was shot in the face, and Al-Masry Al-Youm photojournalist Alaa al-Qamhawy, who was shot in the foot. Among the detained journalists were Al-Jazeera journalist Abdullah al-Shami and Al Jazeera Media Network's Mubasher Misr photographers Emad Eddin Al-Sayed and Abdulrahman Al-Mowahhed-Bellah, and Freedom and Justice Party (Egypt) journalist Radwa Al-Selawi.
- "Egypt: Death sentences upheld for 12 defendants after shameful mass trial", Amnesty International, June 14th 2021.
- "Egypt: Security Forces Used Excessive Lethal Force", Human Rights Watch. 19 August 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
- "Global condemnation of Egypt crackdown". Al Jazeera. 15 August 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2013
- "Nasr City: El Sisi's Tiananmen? Abdel Fattah El Sisi, the chief of the Egyptian military, has made two costly miscalculations", Al Jazeera English, By Larbi Sadiki. 28 Jul 2013