The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) issued a statement on Sunday criticising the restriction of the released verdicts in the “Itihadiya palace” case to only former president Mohamed Morsi and his allies, while excluding the security forces that were involved.
The Appeals Court upheld on Saturday a 20-year sentence against Morsi and 14 others for killing protesters outside Itihadiya presidential palace in 2012.
The EIPR statement said that this verdict was only “partially accepted” by the victims’ families as the verdict did not include the security forces and police officers who were present around the presidential palace during the clashes, and did not provide protection to the protestors whatsoever. The security personnel also facilitated the means for Muslim Brotherhood members to detain the protesters and assault them.
The statement added that this verdict represents the “selective justice” that is apparent when the judicial authority deals with cases that include severe violations of human rights, such as the death and injury of peaceful protesters.
The EIPR said that police officers and Interior Ministry forces have not been charged over the course of the past five years, despite killing and injuring hundreds. The exception is Mahmoud Sobhy Al-Shennawy, better known as “eye sniper”, a Central Security Forces lieutenant who was sentenced to three years in jail for the attempted murder of peaceful protesters after videos emerged of him shooting protesters during the November 2011 clashes on Mohamed Mahmoud Street.
The Itihadiya Palace clashes occurred on 5 and 6 December 2012, when Morsi’s opposition gathered in front of the presidential palace to protest against a constitutional announcement that gave Morsi’s decisions immunity from appeal and his taking over the authority of dismissing the general prosecutor. Clashes erupted between protesters and supporters of Morsi that led to several injuries and the death of about 10 protesters.
Ola Shahba, who was sexually harassed during the protests, told EIPR that in a court session on 14 May 2014, she said that security forces were responsible for the violent acts. Shahba said that she asked for help from security forces but they ignored her and allowed Morsi’s supporters to harass her.
Shahba also said that she filed reports against the ministers of interior and defence, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood bureau, and Al-Nour political party leader Nader Bakkar to the general prosecution; however, action was only taken against those for whom the general prosecution willed it.
The EIPR concluded its statement by saying that these trials are wasting justice, as the rights of hundreds of victims who were killed or injured are lost.