Egypt parliament approves bill to grant officers immunity for Rabaa massacre
Egypt's parliament has passed a bill that will effectively allow the president to grant immunity to military officers for the massacre of hundreds of civilians following a 2013 coup.
Lawmakers gave preliminary approval for the so-called "honouring some army officers" law on Tuesday, local news website Mada Masr reported.
The law, which still needs final approval from parliament's general assembly, would allow President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to exempt top military officials from punishment for the Rabaa massacre.
"It is not possible for investigations or judicial action to be taken against anyone selected under this law for any action done during the period between the suspension of the constitution and convening of the current parliament," the text of the proposed law reads.
The bill refers to the time period between 3 July, 2013 and 10 January, 2016.
On August 14, 2013, Egyptian security forces killed over 1,000 people at a pro-democracy sit-in at Cairo's Rabaa Square.
Not a single official has been held accountable for the mass killing of the hundreds of demonstrators who attended the protests against a military coup against the country's first freely elected president Mohamed Morsi.
Instead, Sisi has led a bitter campaign against Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement, detaining thousands and sentencing hundreds to death in mass trials.
Cairo has maintained it allowed the Rabaa protesters enough time to peacefully leave before cracking down on the demonstrations and has blamed Muslim Brotherhood members of triggering the violence.
A court on Saturday postponed until July 28 the verdicts for hundreds of defendants detained for their involvement in the 2013 sit-in, including the top leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.