CAIRO — International criticism of Egypt’s military rulers mounted Wednesday as police clashed for a fifth day with protesters demanding the generals relinquish power immediately. A rights group raised the death toll for the wave of violence to at least 38.
The United Nations strongly condemned authorities for what it deemed an excessive use of force. Germany, one of Egypt’s top trading partners, called for a quick transfer of power to a civilian government. The United States and the U.N. secretary general have already expressed their concern over the use of violence against mostly peaceful protesters.
Navi Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, deplored the role of Egypt’s security forces in attempting to suppress protesters.
“Some of the images coming out of Tahrir, including the brutal beating of already subdued protesters, are deeply shocking, as are the reports of unarmed protesters being shot in the head,” Pillay said. “There should be a prompt, impartial and independent investigation, and accountability for those found responsible for the abuses that have taken place should be ensured.”