Egypt must rein in its security forces and investigate human rights abuses against protesters, the United Nations said Tuesday, calling political tensions in the country "alarming"
Egypt must rein in its security forces and investigate human rights abuses against protesters, the United Nations said Tuesday, calling political tensions in the country "alarming".
The UN rights office said it was deeply concerned by "the seriously damaging lack of accountability for human rights violations committed by security forces in the context of demonstrations".
Spokesman Rupert Colville said at least five people, including two security officers, had been reported killed in clashes during protests at the weekend.
"The authorities must ensure that security forces do not resort to the excessive use of force," Colville told reporters in Geneva. "Prompt, thorough and independent investigations" should be carried out "into all human rights violations committed in the context of protests," he added.
He also urged protesters to act peacefully, saying "the increasing polarization in Egyptian society is very alarming".
"We urge the government to immediately release all those who have been detained for legitimate exercise of their rights to peaceful assembly and to freedom of association and expression," Colville said. He also alluded to Saturday's court decision dropping the Mubarak murder charges.
"We are closely following attempts to bring to justice those responsible for serious human rights violations in Egypt, including the killings of hundreds of people in February 2011," he said.
"We urge the authorities to ensure that all those who are responsible for human rights violations, up to the highest levels, face justice in line with international standards of fair trial and due process," he said.