Amnesty International: Human Rights Abuses in Egypt Worse Than Under Mubarak

Human rights group says Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) in Egypt has 'failed completely' to live up to promises on safeguarding human rights.

Egypt's military rulers have crushed the hopes of democracy protestors while being responsible for a "catalogue of abuses" which in some cases exceed those committed by the previous regime of former president Hosni Mubarak, Amnesty International has warned.

In a statement released in London Tuesday, the human rights group said the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) in Egypt had "failed completely" to live up to promises on safeguarding human rights.

Egypt protest - AP - 21.11.2011

By using military courts to try thousands of civilians, cracking down on peaceful protest and expanding the remit of Mubarak's Emergency Law, the Council had continued "the tradition of repressive rule" which the demonstrators fought so hard to get rid of, said Philip Luther, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Acting Director.

Protestors, journalists, bloggers or striking workers who challenged or criticized the council had been ruthlessly suppressed so that their voices would not be heard.

After nine months of military rule, the aims and aspirations of the Egyptian revolution had been "crushed," said Amnesty. "The brutal and heavy-handed response to protests in the last few days bears all the hallmarks of the Mubarak era," the statement said.

By August, the SCAF admitted that some 12,000 civilians across the country had been tried by military courts following grossly unfair trials, and at least 13 were sentenced to death, according to Amnesty.

It listed the case of Maikel Nabil Sanad, a blogger sentenced to three years in prison in April for criticizing the military and objecting to military service, as "symbolic."

Scores of journalists and broadcasters had been summoned to appear before the military prosecutor in an attempt to suppress "negative media reporting" about the military, said Amnesty.

Twenty-eight people are believed to have been killed on 9 October after security forces dispersed a protest by Coptic Christians, said Amnesty.

The group said it had been told by medics that casualties included bullet wounds and crushed body parts, after people were run over by speeding armored vehicles.

Amnesty said it had received consistent reports that the security forces were employing armed thugs to attack protesters, something that had been a well-known practice under the previous regime.

Torture in detention also continued, said Amnesty, and promised investigations were not carried out. "No perpetrators of such abuses are known to have been brought to justice," it said.