Egypt: human rights report absolving military is 'whitewash'

A human rights agency linked to the Egyptian government says that the army did not fire on Coptic Christian demonstrators, resulting in several deaths.

A Catholic priest in Egypt has dismissed a report by the government-linked National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) absolving the military of all responsibility in shooting Coptic demonstrators on October 9.

The human rights body said in their recently released report that the Egyptian army did not fire at Coptic demonstrators on October 9 during clashes that left 28 people dead.

However, Fr. Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Catholic Church in Egypt, called the report a whitewash.

“They used the definition of a third party in order to whitewash the military,” Fr, Greiche told AsiaNews. He said NCHR investigation lacks credibility because of its closeness to the former and current regimes.  “People do not agree very much with the document. There is an impression that the military did not provide security to the demonstrators,” he added. The cleric expressed concern saying that the problem could be swept under the carpet because all political parties are now busy preparing for the November 28, 2011 presidential elections.

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