Cairo bloodbath: Kerry ‘deeply’ concerned, but US aid continues to pour in

Charles Rollet Contributor
Font Size:

The field hospital by Rabaa, Cairo, overflowed with bodies after Egyptian police violently put down a pro-Morsi protest Saturday.

At least 65 protestors were killed, according to the Ministry of Health, making it the worst violence Egypt has seen in recent memory. The number killed has fluctuated wildly according to the source, with the Muslim Brotherhood reporting at least 150 fatalities and over 4,000 injured.

Although the army initially claimed no live bullets were used, many of the bodies coming in had direct sniper shots to the head.

“I have not seen such massacres even in Syria… Haven’t those bastards heard of peaceful demonstrations?” tweeted a neurosurgeon working on site.

Both sides claim the other started the fight. Officials say police first responded with tear gas and only retaliated when attacked, while Morsi supporters say they never injured anyone.

The pro-Morsi protestors have been seen armed before, but the police’s reaction appears “overwhelming,” McClatchy reports.

Secretary of state John Kerry responded to the violence by expressing “deep concern,” urging Egyptian authorities to “respect the right of peaceful assembly” and end politically-motivated jailings.

Defense secretary Chuck Hagel called the new Egyptian Prime Minister, General Sisi, and expressed similar sentiments. Sisi had personally called for anti-Muslim Brotherhood protests Friday to rid Egypt of “terrorism.”

However, the Obama administration will continue funding Egypt’s military to the tune of $1.5 billion dollars a year despite a U.S. law which states no country whose government took power via coup may receive American foreign aid.

A spokeswoman said Friday it would do so by simply refusing to determine whether or not a coup took place July 3, when Mohammed Morsi was ousted by the military.

Noah Feldman, professor of international and constitutional law at Harvard, wrote the administration’s ignoring of its own laws was a “joke” which would be “funny if it weren’t so outrageous.”

The unrest in Egypt comes during high levels of insecurity across North Africa. In Libya, a leading secular activist was killed and over 1,000 inmates escaped from a Benghazi jail; in Tunisia, a senior secular politician, Mohamed Brahmi, was assassinated by Islamists.

Follow Charles on Twitter