Cairo, 29 Ramadan 1436/16 July 2015 (MINA) – Egypt’s cabinet decided Wednesday to rename a Cairo square where police killed hundreds of Islamist protesters in 2013 after the country’s top prosecutor, who was assassinated last month.
Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square is to be called Hisham Barakat Square in honor of the prosecutor, who died in a June 29 car bombing, a government statement said.
On August 14, 2013 security forces stormed two sit-ins of supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi in Rabaa al-Adawiya and in Nahda, Ma’an News Agency reports as quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA).
Square, also in Cairo, resulting in what HRW termed “one of the largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history” of Egypt.
At least 817 demonstrators died in Rabaa al-Adawiya Square alone, it said.
The interior ministry said at least 10 policemen were killed during the dispersal after coming under fire from protesters.
Morsi was overthrown by then army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Since his overthrow, more than 1,400 people have been killed in a police crackdown, including those who died in Rabaa al-Adawiya.
Thousands more have been imprisoned, and hundreds sentenced to death.
Barakat’s killing has not been claimed by anyone, but militants have stepped up attacks against security forces and called for attacks on judges and prosecutors in retaliation for the crackdown.
Hundreds of Egyptian security forces have been killed in such attacks, many of which have been carried out in the Sinai Peninsula bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Most of the attacks have been claimed by a group calling itself Wiliyat Sinai, or Sinai Province. Formerly known as Ansar Beit al -Maqdis, the group changed its name when it pledged allegiance to IS last November.
Earlier this month at least 70 people, mostly Egyptian soldiers but also civilians, were killed in the Sinai in one of the largest attacks by militants in recent years.
In response to conflicting reports between media outlets and official government reports on the death toll from the attack, Egypt’s government is discussing controversial draft anti-terrorism law under which reporters could be jailed for contradicting official statements.
Much of the media in Egypt has been supportive of the government’s response to the insurgency, but the country’s Journalists Syndicate condemned what it called “new restrictions on press freedoms” in the draft law. (T/P010/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)