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04:42, 19 August 2017 Saturday
14:39, 12 August 2017 Saturday

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4 years on, Egyptian lives shattered by coup
4 years on, Egyptian lives shattered by coup

Hundreds of Egyptians have fled the post-coup crackdown and sought refuge abroad

World Bulletin / News Desk

Asmaa Beltagy, a 17-year old Egyptian, was standing among protesters in a sit-in staged in support of former President Mohamed Morsi when shots from a sniper rifle ended her life on August 14, 2013.

That day Egyptian security forces violently dispersed the sit-in in eastern Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya square, killing nearly 2,600 protestors, according to figures by the Muslim Brotherhood group.

Egyptian authorities, however, say only 623 people were killed in the dispersal, including a number of security personnel.

The dispersal came a few weeks after the military, led by then-defense minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, deposed Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, in a military coup.

In the aftermath of the coup, Egyptian security forces launched a harsh crackdown on supporters of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood groups, killing hundreds and detaining thousands.

Hundreds of Egyptians have fled the crackdown and sought refuge abroad, including Asmaa's mother, Sanaa Abdel Gawad Mohamed, who resides in Istanbul, Turkey.

“It was not an easy decision to leave my country where my daughter sacrificed her life for its victory, dignity and prosperity,” Mohamed told Anadolu Agency.

She said she had to leave Egypt "because they [authorities] wanted to take revenge on all of us".

Mohamed's husband, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Beltagy, has been in jail for over three years on multiple charges, including violence and incitement.

Her two sons, Anas and Khaled, were also detained by Egyptian authorities.

"They left none of our family members,” Mohamed said. "Even Hossam, the little boy, 13, they didn’t leave him alone. They chased him to send him to prison,” she said.

“For all of that, I was forced to leave my beloved country," the bereaved mother said.

 

 



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