Egypt army has duty to protect all citizens, Amnesty says

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Amnesty International on Wednesday called on Egypt’s army to protect all the country’s citizens, whatever their politics, following its ouster of president Mohamed Mursi.

The London-based rights campaigners urged security forces, including the army, “to do all within their power to protect the human rights and safety of everyone in Egypt, regardless of their political affiliation.

“The armed forces and the police in Egypt have a well-documented record of human rights violations which must not be repeated,” it said in a statement.

Salil Shetty, general secretary of Amnesty, stressed it was more important than ever for the military to comply with international human rights laws.

“There has already been a blow to freedom of expression, with several TV channels which supported the president silenced and staff reportedly arrested immediately after his overthrow,” he said.

“No one should be punished for the peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association or assembly,” added Shetty.

He called for the swift release or charging of those brought into detention and warned against the use of “unnecessary and excessive force”.

Amnesty International currently has observers in the country and is monitoring the situation.

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