Egyptian security forces - Egypt

Egyptian security forces have committed widespread abuses against civilians in restive northern Sinai peninsula, some of which amount to war crimes, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Tuesday, urging other nations to halt military assistance. Egypt’s ground and air forces have been fighting Islamist insurgents in Sinai for years, in a conflict fuelled by wider Middle East dynamics and a history of state neglect and oppression of the poor and isolated region. The report accused security forces of arbitrary arrests including children, disappearances, torture, extrajudicial killings, collective punishment and forced evictions. While there was no immediate reaction from the Egyptian government, it has in the past responded to accusations of rights abuses by saying strong security measures were needed to curb Islamic State and other jihadists on its soil. New York-based HRW said its 134-page report was researched from 2016-2018 and based on interviews with 54 North Sinai residents and former government and military officials, as well as official statements and satellite images. The watchdog documented what it said were 50 arbitrary arrests of residents, including 39 cases where the detainee was held incommunicado at an undisclosed location. Some died in custody because of ill-treatment and lack of medical care, HRW said, citing former detainees. Reuters was unable to independently confirm its findings. The report also documented 14 cases of extrajudicial killing of detainees, using methods that match similar cases reported in a Reuters investigation published in April. Spokesmen for the military and for Egypt’s State Information Service, which liaises…

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