HRM condemns the extended three months state of emergency and curfew imposed on parts of Northern Sinai which restricts the movement and stability of its residents. The decision negatively affects the citizens preventing them political freedom and their civil, economic, social and cultural rights.
Abdul Fatah Sisi issued a presidential decree number 417 for 2015 on Tuesday October 27, 2015 announcing a state of emergency extension be implemented in Rafah, al-Arish, Sheikh Zuweid and surrounding areas starting retroactively from Tuesday which also extends a night-time curfew. The measure was first introduced exactly one year ago after 33 security personnel were killed in an attack at a checkpoint in northern Sinai. It was extended by three months in January, April, and July.
The set curfew will begin at 7 pm through to 6 am in some areas while others namely Arish will begin from 1 am through to 5 am until further notice.
The curfew along with the extended state of emergency in Sinai is a violation to the constitution as extrajudicial killings take place along with enforced abductions and disappearances by the military and civil police. Since the extended curfews and state of emergencies the innocent residents in North Sinai have lived unstable lives.
Civilians have objected to the decree stating that their livelihoods have suffered immensely and their living standards have deteriorated as a result of the curfews threatening their safety and lives. Tens of extrajudicial killings by security forces have come to be the norm.
HRM warns against the targeting of isolated civilians using combatting terrorism as a guise which appears to have acquired the aims of the military for over a year now through its military operations.
It condemns the methods used by the Egyptian authorities in punishment to those who have broken the curfew giving free authorization to the military to act enjoying impunity. It is evident that within the last months HRM has closely documented and monitored that punishment has come in the form of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary torture and arrests without warrants or legal support. HRM deeply condemns these actions and states that the Egyptian authorities and security apparatus must respect the right to live with freedom and dignity.
The organization calls on the international community to intervene and monitor the human rights situation in Egypt in general and in Sinai in particular holding accountable those responsible for the bloodshed of civilians by the military. HRM also calls on authorities to respect international and domestic laws and conventions without subjecting individuals to arbitrary arrests and detentions allowing its citizens to live a free, equal and dignified life as mandated in the international declarations.