by Huda Badri
The national independent fact-finding commission gathering information regarding the dispersal of pro-Morsi si-ins at Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Nahda squares will send its report to President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on 21 September.
The date marks the end of the period specified for the committee to complete its work.
A Presidential Decree originally gave the committee six months ending in June to complete its work. Former Interim President Adly Mansour issued another directive extending the period by another three months to 21 September. Committee chairman Dr Fouad Abdel Moneim Riad said the group would complete its report by the deadline.
Riad expressed concern the report’s delivery would be postponed due to low cooperation from several official bodies with the committee, despite a presidential directive emphasising the necessity of its work. As a result, a deadline of Wednesday has been set for those bodies to send along relevant knowledge.
He warned that if an agency failed to cooperate, its name would be attached to the report.
According to statements made by Riad, the Ministry of Finance is among the bodies that failed to work with the committee. It has ceased to pay financial allocations worth EGP 200,000 over the past three months, despite the committee’s approaching the Ministry and informing them that the committee’s work could be stopped.
Riad said the committee has faced obstacles as there is a shortage of testimonies from Brotherhood members regarding the dispersal of the Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Nahda sit-ins. Brotherhood members were largely hesitant to submit testimonies for fear that they could be arrested, despite the committee’s promises not to disclose their identities.
Six members of the Muslim Brotherhood gave testimonies regarding the dispersals and the committee did not disclose their identities. The wife of Mohamed Al-Beltagy, a Muslim Brotherhood leader currently on trial, formed the only exception to this rule as per her request.
Riad said that the number killed during the dispersal last July reached 736, which may increase or decrease due to names appearing twice in statements.
Since the dispersal, varying estimates for the number of dead and injured have emerged with figures issued by opposition groups, the government, and local and foreign human rights groups often contradictory.