- May 13, 2018
- 5 minutes read
Rights Group: 64 Children Killed in Sinai in 2017 by Armed Groups, Army and Police
Biladi Center for Rights and Freedoms (BCRF) published, on its Facebook page, an infograph revealing the number of children killed in Sinai in 2017. The center documented the killing of 64 children, among them 36 children were killed by armed groups, 26 children were killed by the Egyptian army, and two children by the Egyptian police.
The Center said in a statement that Egypt is witnessing a wave of terrorism and violence that is unprecedented in its history, resulting in this deterioration of human rights conditions, especially in northern Sinai.
The Center added that this wave of human rights abuses is the worst in the history of modern Egypt, as the Egyptian security apparatuses always use the term "fighting terrorism" as an excuse to suppress and silence the voices of opposition.
BCRF pointed out that the Egyptian state does not differentiate between political opposition and terror crimes, and that any voice that differs from the policies of the Egyptian state is a terrorist voice aimed at destabilizing the country’s security and stability and must be eradicated in any way even if it violates Egyptian laws and international covenants.
The response of the Egyptian political regime to the criticisms of human rights abuses in Egypt has always been that Egypt is fighting terrorism and extremism.
The Center’s statement followed: "But with the spread of terror and violence, it seems apparent that the security solution alone is ineffective, especially if it is based on violations of law and human rights. Egypt is ranked sixth in the Arab world and the World’s eleventh, according to the global terror index of 2017, despite of the security policies which the state pursues.
The armed groups in northern Sinai began in 2013 committing terror crimes targeting Egyptian soldiers directly, which led to the Egyptian army launching an extended war on these groups which continues to this date.
Despite the statements of military officials that Sinai will soon be free of terror after the elimination of most of the terror cells, nearly five years have passed without progress; rather, the security situation worsens day by day and the human rights situation also worsens.
The statement points out that the spread of terror groups in Sinai is not the only threat facing the people of Sinai, they also face brutal treatment by the security apparatuses.
Recently, many people were forced to leave their homes and electricity and communications lines are cut off. Also, state of emergency that allowed extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and forcible disappearances of civilians is imposed and renewed.
These violations are part of the strategy by the Egyptian government and the Egyptian army for the war on terror, such a strategy is based primarily on the security and military solution.
Far from the suffering of the entire Sinai population, it is the children who pay the greatest price resulting from using this strategy. They are killed, injured or lose their homes, while survivors are at risk of losing their lives.
BCRF called on the Egyptian government and the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood through a paper titled, "Endless Risks," to work on policies to protect children from the consequences of fighting terror in North Sinai.
Egyptian public opinion is also targeted to pressure the Egyptian government to implement the UN Counter-Terror Strategy and the UN General Assembly’s vision to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terror.
The BCRF’s paper also reviews the texts contained in Egyptian laws and international conventions on the protection of the children’s rights. The paper presents cases of children who have been subjected to abuses in violation of these laws. The paper then makes recommendations for the protection of these children.