Rights group: Egypt prisons became ‘guillotine for executions’

Prisoners
Prisoners in Mahalla, Egypt

An international human rights organisation reported several violations against prisoners in Egyptian detention during the first half of this year, warning of what it described as “a danger facing the lives of detainees inside Egyptian detention centres.”

“The Egyptian regime has been committing violations against civilians in Sinai, carrying out enforced disappearance, and torturing prisoners across the country’s detentions,” Committee for Justice (CFJ) said.

CFJ accused the Egyptian authorities of carrying out “systematic abuses against detainees.”

The Geneva-based organisation pointed to a “by-mistake killing of 245 people” during the first half of 2019.

“Sinai death toll in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula represents the largest number of human rights violations across the nation,” the rights group added.

Egypt has long been fighting Islamist militants, who have waged an insurgency that has killed hundreds of soldiers, police, and residents, in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula.

Reuters investigation in April found that Egyptian security forces had shot dead hundreds of suspected militants in what the Interior Ministry said were gun battles, but which bereaved families said were extrajudicial executions.

Human rights organisations have accused Egypt of carrying out extrajudicial executions and of trying civilians in military courts as part of the crackdown.

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has said the matter of human rights should be treated in the context of regional turbulence and the struggle against terrorism. Strong security measures, he has said, are needed to stabilise Egypt after the turmoil that followed the country’s 2011 uprising.

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