October 2, 2012 - 15:05 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Amnesty International warned Tuesday, Oct 2 that abuses by Egyptian police and military continued with impunity after regime change and Hosni Mubarak's ouster, and urged the country's newly elected leader to deal with this "bloody legacy" by bringing to justice those responsible for killing, maiming and abusing protesters.
According to The Associated Press, two extensive reports released by the London-based human rights group in Cairo on Tuesday detail cases of rights abuses by the troops after Mubarak left office in February 2011, focusing on six separate incidents of crackdowns that killed at least 120 protesters.
Amnesty said thousands of protesters were injured or maimed - with documented cases of loss of eyesight - during the crackdowns, and that detainees were tortured in custody.
For such practices to halt, those responsible must be brought to trial before an independent, civilian court, said Suzanne Nossel, the executive director of Amnesty International USA.
She urged the country's new President Mohammed Morsi to take "forceful and immediate" steps to ensure civilian oversight of both the military and the police and to "tackle the bloody legacy of official abuse and guarantee that no one is above the law in Egypt."
"If President Morsi truly wants to reform Egypt, he must establish the principle that no one can be above the law, including the army and the security services," Nossel said. "Without accountability by the army and security forces who are responsible for decades of human rights violations, justice for victims will remain elusive."
The Amnesty reports were not the first time the group has criticized Egypt's troubled transition - last November, the watchdog accused the military rulers who took over after Mubarak of adopting the same oppressive tactics used under the former president, including targeting critics, banning critical media coverage and torturing protesters.
Most of the cases documented in the new reports cover the period under Egypt's military rulers, though one violent police crackdown took place as late as August - just over a month after Morsi was sworn in.