Human rights organisation: Egypt deliberately targets tunnel workers

Human rights organisation: Egypt deliberately targets tunnel workers

LONDON,  The London based Arab Organisation for Human Rights (AOHR) condemned the Egyptian government for using “lethal force” against the workers in tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip and said that the orders to kill and to tighten the siege come from the highest authority in Egypt.

“The Egyptian security forces have used lethal force in its war against tunnel workers between the Gaza Strip and Egypt and practiced murder underground away from world attention,” said AOHR, in a statement on Thursday following the death of four Palestinian tunnel workers and the injury of six others on Wednesday evening as a result of Egyptian security spraying poisonous gasses into one of the tunnels.

“Through field research, AOHR has documented 54 cases of death [of tunnel workers], most of them as a result of inhaling types of poisonous gases sprayed by Egyptian security forces inside tunnels causing rapid death by asphyxia,” AOHR further said, adding that the type of gas is not known because projectiles are not used in these cases and what is more important is that there are no advanced laboratories in the Gaza Strip to determine the type of gas used.

Furthermore, the human rights organisation said that in the name of sovereignty and national security, Egyptian measures have resulted in the death of many tunnel workers in a deliberate manner that constitutes a breach of international law, adding: “The orders to murder and to tighten the siege on the people of Gaza are issued at the highest level of Egyptian government, as there is an office attached to the president’s office which is responsible for operations at the border with the Gaza Strip.”

AOHR called on the international community and other human rights organisations to intervene and  stop the Egyptian government’s crimes at the border with the Gaza Strip, especially the demolishing of tunnels and spraying them with poisonous gases.