Human Rights Monitor condemns the state of emergency and the extended curfew forced in North Sinai. According to the residents the curfew will make life difficult preventing them from living normal, liberated and stable lives in their homes. Sinai residents will also be banned from a civil, political, economic social and cultural life because of the curfew.
The Egyptian authorities extended yesterday the curfew applied in Sinai for the third time. The curfew and state of emergency was first applied, in October during the military operations in Sinai where 1500 citizens were illegally killed and 1300 were arbitrarily arrested with no information regarding their fate. More than 1000 houses and vehicles belonging to innocent residents have been destroyed since the Egyptian authority began combating terrorism their only fault being residents in the area. The curfew was again extended in January 2015, and yesterday witnessed its third extension.
Since it was first applied six months ago the Sinai residents have not been able to lead normal and stable lives. Struggles between the residents and the state's security apparatus escalated as a result and residents confirm that the military is taking advantage of the authority given to it with random shootings of citizens and killing of residents under the guise of fighting terrorism leading to the deaths of hundreds of innocent citizens deprived of the most basic right to life.
Sinai's civilians have also been denied the freedom and security with the set curfew as they are prevented from leaving their homes for 12 hours. They are also left without services such as electricity, water, and the internet during the curfew hours greatly affecting their lives. Patients suffering from sudden illnesses are unable to be taken to hospital or helped and HRM has been able to document the number of patients who were unable to go to hospital for treatment because of the curfew despite it being a humanitarian case. No special cases were regarded.
HRM denounces the tone in which the Egyptian authority speaks with threats of punishment to those who break the curfew imposed in the area and decries the unlimited authority allowed to the military without accountability for crimes committed. It is evident that during the last few months in which HRM has been observing cases of punishment and torture have escalated with random killings and emotional and physical abuse in addition to arrests without warrants. While denouncing such measures HRM calls on the Egyptian authorities and the security apparatus to respect the freedom and dignity of the residents and the rights to live.
It also warns against targeting civilians using terrorism as an excuse as it is apparent that the military operations have been unsuccessful so far in fighting it. It also warns against the dispersal of protesters demonstrating against the curfew adding that peaceful gatherings are a basic right agreed on by Egypt in the international civil and political convention and no restrictions should be applied.
HRM calls on the international community to intervene and observe the level of human rights in Egypt in general and in Sinai in particular with accountability of all military officials responsible for the bloodshed of innocent civilians. Lastly HRM calls on the authorities to recognize national and international agreements ratified and to respect the privacy of individuals without interfering in their personal and family matter and insulting them tarnishing their reputation or honour as ratified in the international convention.