Shocking news from the Ministry of Health: The official death toll of the Egyptian revolution has now reached 840!
Up until now it was believed, 686 peaceful demonstrators had been killed by security forces at Tahrir and in the streets of the Egyptian cities. Now an Egyptian health ministry official said that 384 deaths had been recorded in hospitals affiliated with the ministry, but deaths at private, police, military and university hospitals showed the total number of victims has reached 840.
According to the newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm the ministry official, Hesham Sheeha, went on to say that the number of injured people had reached 6.467.
The health ministry has now submitted these reports to the general prosecutor but pointed out, the ministry was not in charge of preparing reports for all the deaths.
This can only mean it is up to the general prosecutor to prepare all these cases and file charges in criminal court as soon as possible. That will not be an easy task. Only few cases of about 100 have been handed over to the criminal court so far, cases in which the killers had been identified by witnesses. But what about all those many killings that took place in the midst of the uprising where hardly any valid identification of individual killers was possible?
One thing urgently needed is sound ballistics for evidence. In not few victims the bullets were still embedded when families finally found their bodies in hospitals and morgues. Many families however were pressured to sign 'natural cause' on the death certificates for their beloved ones or the bodies would not be handed to them. Not few in their grief have given in to this blackmail (that according to hospital and morgue workers came from "orders high up"), others have not. Some where determined enough and willing to allow for an autopsy securing the bullets that killed their kin. For others this was an impossible thing to do due to cultural issues. In those cases important evidence will forever have been lost with the burying of the body.
But ballistics is vital in establishing who shot a person. For each gun has a distinct and individual fingerprint it leaves on a bullet. So that a bullet - given ballistic experts are at hand - can lead back to the individual weapon used. Then with a high degree of certainty one would be able to pin the killer.
All this will however only be possible if the authorities of the general prosecutor are truly determined to find out individuals linked to individual killings. Up to now this is not certain. While 100 cases have been transfered to the criminal courts, the authorities have pointed out that many killings will not be solved and former Minister of Interior Al-Adly will be charged with them. For it is him the general prosecutor has established as having given order to shoot at demonstrators with live ammunition.
For the families of those killed this will only be a small solace. They want to know exactly who killed their brother, father, son, cousin - or of course (and not in that order) sister, mother, daughter or cousin. It will not be enough for them that Al-Adly gets all the blame but the actual killer gets off running free. They will not ever be able to come to terms with the horrors that happened during the peaceful revolution of #jan25 - the killing of 840 unarmed, innocent, peaceful Egyptians.
Don't fail on them for a second time ya government. See to it that all possible means are exploited to really find out who killed the 840 martyrs of Egypt!