UNICEF urges protection of children amid violent clashes in Egypt

22 December 2011The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has urged Egyptian authorities to protect children from violence due to demonstrations in the capital, Cairo, and called for investigations into incidents which caused injury or death as well as proper care for victims. “In the last six days, the numbers of killed, injured and detained children have reached alarming levels,” said Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF Representative in the country.According to the Ministry of Health, a total of 15 people have died and more than 800 were injured in clashes between security forces and protesters in Cairo last week. Egyptian child rights organizations reported that at least two children died, tens were injured, and 69 were put in detention in the same period.Mr. Duamelle called on authorities to protect children in accordance with Egyptian and international human rights law to prevent them from falling victim to violence or unnecessarily witnessing acts of violence.“Too often children are caught in the spiraling violence. Reports and first-hand testimony by children paint a graphic picture of how the latest confrontations affect them,” Mr. Duamelle said. “Such disregard for children’s rights and safety must be condemned and must cease immediately.”Several UN officials have voiced their concern at the fresh round of violence in Cairo, where demonstrators have again taken to the streets in protests against the military government that assumed power earlier this year after the toppling of the long-standing regime of Hosni Mubarak.

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