Human Rights Monitor calls on the international community to intervene to end the recent crimes committed by security forces in Egypt in the Egyptian village of Basrata in Damietta. Forces stormed the village disregarding human rights to a safe and dignified life in their own homes terrorizing residents and randomly arresting tens killing others in a clear violation to international conventions and agreements.
The persistence of the Egyptian authorities to terrorize for political purposes is a crime and a breach to human rights covenants which stress everyone's right to life shall be protected by law
Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law
HRM warns against the siege of entire villages suspending life as it is known with curfews set on its residents. It cautions all over the continued oppression of freedom as people are frisked and arrested while homes are raided without legal support or warrant in addition to the torture and physical and verbal abuse during the raids.
Security forces stormed the village using 10 army tanks and 22 police vehicles on Saturday May 9 arresting randomly no less than 20 residents after besieging the village for more than 5 days preventing people from leaving or entering the village to go to work.
Security forces killed 5 people using live bullets after arresting and cuffing them to the armored vehicles according to witnesses who spoke to HRM. The victims include Omar Abu Galala, Awad Saad Badawy, Ali Sammy Alfar, Mohamed Ayad and Bassem Hashish.
Security forces abducted the body of Omar Abu Galala hiding him in one of the armored vehicles surrounding the village after shooting him. HRM was able to contact his friends and neighbors and learnt that he was an 18 year old Azhar University Islamic Studies student. Witnesses confirmed he was well and alive at the time of his arrest and later shot in the foot before forces broke out fire on the rest of his body.
Twenty houses were also raided and contents completely destroyed, 3 shops and approximately 20 motor bikes belonging to residents were also burnt. Live bullet, pellets and teargas were also shot randomly. No reasons were given for the collective punishment and random killings of the civilians were given.
HRM in Damietta stated that security forces surrounded the village following a protest by youths after 5 girls from the village were arrested from a group of 13 other girls after being shot at during a protest they participated in which took place in Damietta on May 5th.
During the raids 16were arrested for peacefully protesting with neglect to the right of peaceful assembly chartered in the international convention for political and civil rights. A young girl and women were among the detainees and ten of other civilians were injured by the tear gas and pellets shot.
According to reports the detainee girls include Israa Abdo Ali Arafat, 18, a high school student, Habibia Hassan Hassan Sheta 29 married, Safaa Ali Farahat 17 a high school student and Sarah Mohamed Abdul Fatah Alalaly 19 an applied arts student.
Rawda Samir Saad Khater 18 a student, Heba Ossama Abu Eissa 18, Mariam Emad al Din Abu Turk 29, and Fatma Mohamed Ayad 24 an Islamic Studies student were also arrested.
HRM followed closely the investigations of the arrested girls since the beginning of their arrest in an effort to guarantee a fair hearing and to guarantee suitable detention centres. HRM was surprised to learn that the women were prevented from seeing their lawyer during the investigations they were also denied visiting rights of their families;
On the second day of their arrests they were brought before court and transferred to security forces camp in Damietta. Sources confirmed they were tortured to confess to crimes they did not commit and were both physically and verbally abused. An order has been issued for their continued detention.
HRM calls for the immediate release of the girls detained in Damietta and the end to the violence used against them. It also calls for the accountability of those involved in the crimes describing the actions used against the village and its residents as war crimes against humanity.