(Beirut) Amnesty International on Thursday called for an investigation into the recent release of a video by the Egyptian army showing soldiers suspected of carrying out “extrajudicial killings” by the human rights organization.
Posted on Aug 5, 2021 at 11:06 am
The video published on August 1st on the Egyptian army Facebook account announced the elimination of 89 suspected jihadists by Egyptian troops in northern Sinai, where an Islamist rebellion has been raging for several years.
The video shows images of blurry corpses and Egyptian soldiers using their weapons during an operation. According to Amnesty, the footage shows “soldiers firing a person sleeping in a tent at close range”.
“The Egyptian prosecutor urgently needs to investigate what appears to be extrajudicial executions of soldiers in North Sinai,” Amnesty said on Thursday in a statement that analyzed the images.
According to Philip Luther, head of Amnesty for the Middle East and North Africa, quoted in the press release, “the deeply disturbing images in this Egyptian propaganda video” are […] lift the veil on the shocking crimes committed in Egypt in the name of the fight against terrorism.
Mr. Luther believes that the Egyptian judiciary should “immediately initiate an effective, impartial and independent investigation” into the content of the video.
Amnesty names the US-made M4 assault rifle among the weapons used and calls on the international community, including the US and the EU, to urgently end all arms transfers if human rights violations threaten.
For years, the Egyptian armed forces have been working to end the presence of extremist groups in the northern Sinai Peninsula, mainly the local branch of the Islamic State (IS) group.
Since February 2018, the army has been carrying out a large-scale operation against the jihadists, especially in the north of Sinai and the Western Desert.
According to official figures, around 1,060 jihadists and dozens of members of the security forces have been killed in Sinai.
However, there is no report from an independent source and North Sinai is closed to journalists.