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Egypt: ICRC calls for human life and dignity to be respected

29-01-2011 News Release

Geneva (ICRC) – Having closely followed the events that have unfolded in Cairo and other major Egyptian cities over the past few days, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) deplores the loss of life and the injuries that have resulted from the escalation in violence. The organization is concerned that further violence could lead to more casualties.

"The ICRC calls upon the authorities, demonstrators and all others involved to respect human life and dignity at all times," said Beatrice Megevand-Roggo, the ICRC's head of operations for the Middle East. "People who have been wounded and health-care personnel, vehicles and facilities must be respected by all. Security forces must apply international standards governing the use of force in their efforts to restore law and order. Those arrested and detained must be treated in conformity with the law."

"We are monitoring the situation on the ground and stand ready to support national medical services in their efforts to care for people injured in the violence,'' she added.

The ICRC is a neutral and independent humanitarian organization operating throughout the world. It responds to the needs of people adversely affected by armed conflict and other emergencies.

The organization has been working in Egypt since the beginning of the Second World War, and has had a full-time presence in the country for much of this time. Among other activities, it provides support to the Egyptian Red Crescent Society and has helped it establish a contingency plan for possible emergencies arising at the frontier with the Gaza Strip. The ICRC also helps people in Egypt, including refugees from the Horn of Africa, keep in touch with their relatives living or detained abroad.

For more information, please contact:
Hicham Hassan, ICRC Cairo, tel: + 201 874 24 344
Nicole Engelbrecht, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 2063 or +41 79 217 3217