Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
As the violence continues, the UN human-rights chief has urged all sides in Egypt to step back "from the brink of disaster".
As the violence continues, the UN human-rights chief has urged all sides in Egypt to step back 'from the brink of disaster'.

UN rights chief calls for investigation into Egypt violence

Navi Pillay demands a wide-ranging investigation into the crackdown by Egyptian security forces on Muslim Brotherhood protesters.

GENEVA // The UN's human-rights chief, Navi Pillay, yesterday demanded a wide-ranging investigation into the crackdown by Egyptian security forces on Muslim Brotherhood protesters.

More than 500 people were killed, according to government figures, during Wednesday's assaults on two Cairo protest camps set up by supporters of the ousted Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi.

The Brotherhood has put the death toll at more than 2,000.

It was the worst violence in the country for decades.

"There must be an independent, impartial, effective and credible investigation of the conduct of the security forces," Ms Pillay said. "Anyone found guilty of wrongdoing should be held to account.

"The number of people killed or injured, even according to the government's figures, point to an excessive, even extreme use of force against demonstrators."

Adding her voice to the global outcry over the bloodshed, Ms Pillay urged "all sides in Egypt to step back from the brink of disaster".

"I deplore the loss of life and call on all in Egypt to seek a way out of the violence," she added.

Ms Pillay also urged the Egyptian authorities and security forces "to act with the utmost restraint", saying they were "bound by the rule of law and must act with full respect for human rights".

Earlier yesterday, the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called on the UN Security Council to meet urgently to discuss the crisis. He said Egypt's leaders should stand a "fair and transparent" trial for what he called a "massacre", which unfolded live on TV.

He again called for the release from custody of Mr Morsi and other members of his government, and said Egypt's current leaders should follow the example of Mohamed ElBaradei, who resigned as Egypt's interim vice president in protest against Wednesday's violence.

* Agence France-Presse, with additional reporting by Associated Press

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greeted by university students as he leaves Sistan University in Sistan and Baluchestan’s provincial capital of Zahedan on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

In Iran’s most troubled province, Rouhani hears pleas for change

Hassan Rounani aims to connect with residents of far-flung Sistan and Baluchestan province.

 Prince Bandar bin Sultan in Riyadh on March 3, 2007. Hassan Ammar / AFP Photo

Saudi Prince Bandar promised a victory he could not deliver

Saudi Arabia's controversial intelligence chief stepped down this week after rumours that his policies on Syria had fallen out of favour.

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish spiritual leader Fethullah Gulen. AFP Photo

The inner workings of Gulen’s ‘parallel state’

Fethullah Gulen's followers are accused of trying to push Turkey's prime minister from power.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National