According to Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights, 2,600 people have been killed in violence since Egypt’s first freely-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was overthrown in a coup led by former General Abdel Fattah Sisi in 2013, AP has reported.
“The numbers include 700 policemen and 550 civilians who were killed in the period between 30 June 2013 and 31 December 2014,” Mohamed Fayeq, head of the National Council for Human Rights, said on Sunday.
Criticising the detainment process for suspects, Fayeq said holding cells at police stations are filled to 400 percent capacity and prisons to 160 percent.
Fayeq also quoted the announcement of Egypt’s interior ministry of the deaths of 36 people who were in detention, while this number was placed at between 80 and 98 by various human rights groups.
“The phenomenon of death in detention had disappeared after the 2011 uprising, but has since made a comeback. There is no proof that they died as a result of torture, but there is also nothing to prove otherwise,” Fayeq said.
Since Morsi’s ouster, rights groups and activists have reported many human rights abuses including the return of the Mubarak-era practice of using torture to punish detainees or extract confessions.
Since the July 2013 military coup that deposed Mohamed Morsi - Egypt’s first democratically elected president - after he had been in office for just one year, the country’s post-coup regime has led a crackdown on anti-coup opposition. It has particularly targeted the Muslim Brotherhood movement, which has been outlawed as a terrorist organisation in the country.
Hundreds of Morsi supporters were killed when Egyptian security forces dispersed anti-coup protests in Cairo’s Rabaa and Nahda Squares a little over a month after he was deposed.
Hundreds more have been arrested for defying a protest ban in the country, including members of pro-democracy groups that supported the coup, while hundreds of alleged Muslim Brotherhood members have been handed mass death sentences in trials that have received widespread international condemnation.