EGYPT: Rights advocates report protest death toll as high as 300


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Human rights advocates and monitors said Tuesday that they were told of death tolls as high as 300 from the unrest that has consumed Egypt for more than a week.

‘Casualties have been mounting on a daily basis, with unconfirmed reports suggesting as many as 300 people may have been killed so far, more than 3,000 injured and hundreds arrested,” U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said of reports to the world body from nongovernmental sources in Egypt.


In a separate 95-page report, New York-based Human Rights Watch said it had verified 80 deaths at two Cairo hospitals, another 36 in Alexandria and 13 in the port city of Suez, all flashpoints of the confrontations between demonstrators and security forces. The report, “Work on Him Until he Confesses: Impunity for Torture in Egypt,” disclosed incidents of torture and deaths in custody that the rights group said spurred the current revolt against the regime of President Hosni Mubarak.

Two Egyptian policemen jailed following the death of anti-corruption activist Khaled Said were among the hundreds of prisoners who have escaped during the unrest in Cairo, the Reuters news agency reported, citing security and legal sources. Said’s death following an illegal arrest and torture at the hands of the police was a major catalyst for the demonstrations that have ground Cairo and other major cities to a halt.

Nile TV, an Egyptian satellite network, reported 450 arrests after Tuesday’s outpouring of more than 200,000 protesters in the capital, the largest display of anti-Mubarak sentiment to date. The state-run pan-Arab network also reported a warning from the Egyptian army against protesters donning uniforms or military protective gear as they press their demands for Mubarak’s resignation.

-- Carol J. Williams