EFHR: Human rights violations increase in Sinai along with military escalation

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The Egyptian Front for Human Rights reported a rise of human rights violations committed by the different parties of the militant insurgency in North Sinai during the first half of 2021.

The report recorded killings and the pursuit of civilians in Sinai by the Egyptian military and police there. Four civilians were killed by governmental troops, Dalal Hassan Nasr, a shepherd from Sheikh Zuweid, Ahmed Farhan Hamaida, and two people from Bir Al-Abd. Also, 22 civilians were murdered by Wilayet Sinai, including a woman and a child. In addition, the organisation kidnapped 26 civilians, 24 of them from Bir Al-Abd and two from Sheikh Zuweid.

In addition to this, 51 soliders were killed by ISIS attacks, seven of them tribal fighters who work with the military, while the Egyptian military killed 31 insurgents. Such violations continue a series of human rights violations committed since the insurgency in Sinai began. The violations included extrajudicial killings, arrests, home demolitions, forced evictions and the prevention of food supplies to cities.

In March, Human Rights Watch condemned the Egyptian military’s continuing home demolitions and forced evictions. “Demolitions are violations of international humanitarian law, or the laws of war, and likely amount to war crimes,” said HRW. The organisation estimated that the army demolished at least 12,350 buildings between July 2013 and July 2020 displacing about 100,000 residents, one fifth of the peninsula’s population.