Article Index

INTRODUCTION

 

On August 14, 2013, Egyptian security forces and army under the command of General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi raided two camps of protesters in Cairo: one at al-Nahda Square and a larger one at Rabaa al-Adawiya Square.

The two sites had been occupied by supporters of President Mohamed Morsi, who had been removed from office a month earlier in the 2013 coup d'état by again a  general. This time Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The camps were raided after initiatives to end the six-week sit-ins by peaceful means failed and as a result of the raids the camps were cleared out within hours.

The raids were described by Human Rights Watch as crimes against humanity and "one of the world's largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history".

According to Human Rights Watch, a minimum of 904 people were killed (at least 817 in Rabaa Square and at least 87 in al-Nahda Square) with strong evidence to suggest more likely at least 1,000 died during the dispersal.

However, according to the Egyptian Health Ministry, 595 civilians and 43 police officers were killed and at least 3,994 were injured.

Later, the official Forensic Medical Authority stated only 8 police officers were killed and Egypt's National Council for Human Rights stated at least 624 civilians were killed.

The Muslim Brotherhood and the National Coalition for Supporting Legitimacy stated the number of deaths from the Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque sit-in alone was about 2,600.

The total casualty count made August 14th the deadliest day in Egypt since the 2011 Egyptian revolution which had toppled former (also a general) President Hosni Mubarak.

Several world leaders denounced the violence during the sit-in dispersals.

Violent retaliation followed in several cities across the country.

The military appointed interim government declared a three-month-long state of emergency in response and curfews were instituted in many areas.