Egypt accused of carrying out and covering up extrajudicial executions of alleged militants

Egypt

Human Rights Watch has accused security forces of Egypt of carrying out extrajudicial executions of dozens of alleged militants and then covering them up by calling them ‘shoot-out deaths’. According to the global rights watchdog, Egypt forces carried out 755 such ‘executions’ between 2015 and 2020.

The Interior Ministry of Egypt has said that forces opened fire at the militants in self defence. The Human Rights Watch released report on Tuesday citing statements of Interior Ministry that 755 people were killed and only one suspect was arrested in 143 ‘shoot outs’ between January 2015 and December 2020. Statements by ministry have identified only 141 of killed. All shoot outs mention that militants opened fire first forcing security forces to shoot back.

HRW has investigated killing of 14 men carried out in nine alleged shoot outs. Their families report the men had been taken into custody by the forces and were in arrest when killed. Families of 8 men report of evident abuse marks on their bodies including burn marks, cuts, broken bones and dislocated teeth.

“It is not possible to reach definite conclusions about the hundreds of killings in the scores of other alleged shoot-outs, given that the interior ministry rarely provides even the most rudimentary information, such as the names of those killed,” Human Rights Watch said. “But the conclusions drawn from the documented incidents demonstrate a clear pattern of unlawful killings and cast serious doubt on almost all reported ‘shootouts’.”

Majority of killings in the country are those of Muslim Brotherhood. Thousands of members and supporters of the Islamic movement, that’s banned in Egypt, have been detained under latest crackdown move on dissent under presidency of Abdul Fattah al-Sisi. He led the military overthrow of his predecessor Mohammed Morsi and came to power in 2013.

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