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Egypt rejects Human Rights Watch report

Posted on Aug 12 2014 | IANS

Cairo, Aug 12 : Egypt Tuesday termed as "negative and biased" a human rights report on the crackdown a year ago on protest camps at Cairo's Rabaa el-Adaweya mosque and Nahda square, state-run MENA news agency reported.

The report by US-based Human Rights Watch ignored terrorist operations against Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood group in 2013, the report quoted the government as saying after reviewing the report Tuesday.

The human rights group has accused Egyptian security forces of killing close to a thousand people during demonstrations broken up by Egyptian security forces, according to the BBC.

A statement by Egypt's State Information Service (SIS) said the report was no surprise to the government given the well-known approaches of the Human Rights Watch.

The government criticised the report, stressing that it was not objective in its descriptions and narration of facts that took place during protests in July and August 2013.

"This reflects lack of professionalism of Human Rights Watch cadres who depended on accounts of unidentified witnesses and biased and untrusted sources," the statement added.

The report totally ignored that a policeman was the first to die during the crackdown on the Brotherhood camps, the statement said. The policeman was speaking to protestors through a microphone to direct them to a safe exit out of the protest area when he was shot dead, it said.

The report mainly highlighted claims of the so-called the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, which is just the other face of the Muslim Brotherhood group, the statement said.

The deaths were "one of the world's largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history", BBC quoted Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth as saying while referring to the crackdown on demonstrators at Rabaa el-Adaweya mosque.

The rights group estimates that at least 817 people died during the violence at the mosque but says the actual figure was more likely 1,000 or more.

Roth and a colleague were stopped from entering Egypt Monday.

They were due to launch the new report at a press conference in the Egyptian capital, but were deported after being held for 12 hours at Cairo International Airport.

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