(WASHINGTON) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Egyptian security forces Sunday to, “respect and protect” the rights of all Egyptians, including the rights to, “peaceful free expression and assembly.”
The call came in the wake of three days of violence in Cairo between military police officers and civilians that left at least 11 dead and hundreds more injured.
The clashes began Friday when military police officers used electric prods and clubs to clear out a small group of citizens conducting a sit-in against the country’s military rule. Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in response.
As people in the streets clash, there appears to be a separate propaganda battle brewing between Egypt’s state-run television and the country’s independent media.
State-run television presented a news report Sunday that suggested the protesters who died of bullet wounds had been shot by infiltrators in their ranks, not by security forces. The New York Times says the government-controlled television also interviewed people it claimed were protesters who had been paid by liberals to attack the military.
The Times reports independent newspapers and satellite channels have reported numerous abuses by military officers and unprovoked attacks on civilians. Videos posted on YouTube show government forces shooting into crowds and chasing down and beating civilians. In one video, military police are seeing dragging a woman and ripping off her clothes while kicking and stomping her.
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Chris Williams and Jason Hanna, CNN
Lisa France, CNN
Laura Koran, CNN