Egypt: Video of extrajudicial executions offers glimpse of hidden abuses by military in North Sinai

0 التعليقات

video Appears to Show Egyptian Soldiers Killing 

Unarmed Men in Sinai




Warning - Item Video shows Egyptian soldiers executing prisoners in Sinai might contain content that is not suitable for all ages.

By clicking on CONTINUE you confirm that you are 18 years and over.
**********************

  

 A video has emerged that appears to show members of the Egyptian military shooting unarmed detainees to death at point-blank range in the Sinai Peninsula and staging the killings to look as if they had happened in combat.
The leaked video, which was posted on social media on Thursday, could undercut claims made by the Egyptian Army in December that the men were suspected terrorists who died in a fight with the military.
The video was released the same day that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met in Egypt with its president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, to discuss improving their countries’ military relationship. It also comes after human rights groups accused the Egyptian military of killing up to 10 men in January in a staged counterterrorism raid in Sinai.
The three-minute video, which was released through a channel associated with the 




Muslim Brotherhood, appears to depict part of a raid that the Egyptian Army highlighted in a Facebook post on Dec. 6, 2016. That post included photos of three bloody men in a grassy area with rifles next to them. The post said they had been killed in a military raid on a terrorist base and an explosives storehouse.
Eight people were killed and four others were arrested, the military said on Facebook in December, as Egyptian armed forces “continued to tighten their security grip” in the Sinai Peninsula, where the country has waged a yearslong battle.
But the video shows no firefight and starts with soldiers mingling next to an armored truck in a sandy field scattered with bodies next to shrubs and grassy patches. But it does show the killing of at least three people. In one case, a soldier casually holds a rifle over a man on the ground and shoots him in the head. In another, soldiers escort a blindfolded man into the field, place him on his knees and shoot him multiple times in the head and upper body.
The pro-state Egyptian news site Youm7 called the video a fabrication carried out by the Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned in the country, and said the people in the video did not have Egyptian accents. An Egyptian military spokesman did not respond to a request for comment late Thursday.

 one point in the video, a man off camera tells a soldier in Arabic to shoot the captured men in a variety of places. “Don’t just do the head, O.K.? Don’t just do the head,” the person said.
In addition to the three men seen killed, the video shows two men lying on the ground who were apparently in the Facebook post. The same men included in the Facebook post in December were apparently also shown in a military video shared on YouTube in November for an operation that claimed to have killed eight terrorists “during clashes.”
Sarah Leah Whitson, the executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division, which released a report about the January killings, said the group was investigating the latest video.
“We have not yet verified the video, and are working on it,” Ms. Whitson said in an email. “But it accords closely with our findings about other summary executions in Sinai and Cairo.”
Mokhtar Awad, a militancy expert at George Washington University, said the video was unlikely to be widely discussed on Egyptian news media because of emergency laws enacted by Mr. Sisi last week after suicide attacks by the Islamic State on two Christians churches on Palm Sunday.
“The worst thing I’ve seen before is of soldiers beating a guy,” Mr. Awad said. “We’ve never seen video from Sinai or elsewhere showing an Egyptian serviceman killing someone in cold blood.”
Together with the accusations of extrajudicial executions in Sinai in January, Mr. Awad said, it suggested “a growing level of impunity” in parts of the Egyptian military, particularly in Sinai where local emergency laws have been in place for years.
“It is a significant problem, and something that needs to be seriously addressed,” he said. “Otherwise things could head in a very problematic direction, of this somehow becoming a new normal.”


Continue reading

Saudi War Crimes Yemen

0 التعليقات


Saudi War Crimes Yemen: 10,000 civilians killed and 40,000 injured in conflict, 

UN reveals







UPDATE 1/18/2017


The US is promoting war crimes in Yemen

Yemen: No Accountability for War Crimes


Parties to Yemen’s armed conflict violated the laws of war with impunity in 2016, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2017. Concerned governments should seek accountability for past and ongoing violations and immediately suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Arabia-led coalition has carried out military operations, supported by the United States and United Kingdom, against Houthi forces and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh since March 2015. The coalition has unlawfully attacked homes, markets, hospitals, schools, civilian businesses, and mosques. As of October 10, 2016, at least 4,125 civilians had been killed and 6,711 wounded, the majority by coalition airstrikes, according to the United Nations human rights office.






People inspect a house after it was destroyed by a Saudi-led airstrike in the capital, Sanaa, February 25, 2016.
People inspect a house after it was destroyed by a Saudi-led airstrike in the capital, Sanaa, February 25, 2016. 

"None of the forces in Yemen’s conflict seem to fear being held to account for violating the laws of war,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “UN members need to press the parties to end the slaughter and the suffering of civilians.”
In the 687-page World Report, its 27th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth writes that a new generation of authoritarian populists seeks to overturn the concept of human rights protections, treating rights as an impediment to the majority will. For those who feel left behind by the global economy and increasingly fear violent crime, civil society groups, the media, and the public have key roles to play in reaffirming the values on which rights-respecting democracy has been built.
Both sides to the conflict have repeatedly violated the laws of war. Human Rights Watch has documented 61 apparently unlawful Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, some of which may amount to war crimes. The coalition has also used internationally banned cluster munitions. Neither the US nor the UK have suspended arms sales to Saudi Arabia despite increasing evidence of their use in the conflict and the coalition’s failure to credibly investigate alleged violations. In 2015, the US approved more than US$20 billion worth of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, and the UK approved arms sales worth $4 billion.
Since taking control of the capital, Sanaa, in September 2014, the Houthis and their allies have carried out a campaign of arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances against perceived opponents. They have launched artillery rockets in indiscriminate attacks into southern Saudi Arabia and in Yemen, killing 475 civilians and wounding 1,121 between July1, 2015, and June 30, 2016, according to the UN. Houthi and allied forces have also laid banned anti-personnel landmines that have killed and wounded dozens of civilians.
None of the warring parties credibly investigated their forces’ alleged laws-of-war violations in Yemen. The coalition-appointed Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) released findings that differed drastically from those of the UN and others. The US, a party to the conflict by providing targeting intelligence and in-air refueling for coalition attacks, is not known to have investigated any alleged unlawful strikes in which its forces may have taken part.
As of November, the US reported it had conducted 28 drone strikes in Yemen in 2016, killing dozens of people described as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives. Both AQAP and armed groups linked to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, claimed responsibility for numerous suicide and other bombings that have unlawfully killed dozens.
Parties to the conflict block or restrict critical relief supplies from reaching civilians, deepening the country’s crisis. The coalition has imposed an air and naval blockade on Yemen, limiting the importation of vital goods, and Houthi and allied forces have confiscated food and medical supplies from civilians entering Taizz and blocked aid from reaching the city, contributing to the near collapse of its health system.






Continue reading

Al-Sisi builds 6 huge tunnels in Sinai – Nile water for Israel might be the reason

0 التعليقات

Al-Sisi builds 6 huge tunnels in Sinai – Nile water for Israel might be the reason


 Six Huge Tunnels near Sinai Borders

sinai-tunnels2
Middle East Observer (MEO) was able to get exclusive photos from the site of building 6 news tunnels in Sinai . The Egyptian government has announced that they are building 4 tunnels, 1 for railway and 3 for cars but haven’t announced anything related to the other 6 tunnels.
sinai-tunnels-3sinai-tunnels-5sinai-tunnels-7

MEO knew that the construction companies belong to the army in addition to few private companies, including Orascom, which is owned by the Sawiris family, an economic tycoon close to the government.
sinai-tunnels-4sinai-tunnels-8

Egyptian-Israeli relations under Al-Sisi Regime

 Israel ambassador in Cairo says “Egyptian-Israeli relations passing its best times”

haim-koren
Israel Ambassador in Egypt  Haim Koren’s stated that the Egyptian-Israeli relation is passing by its best times. The veteran diplomat posted in Egypt since 2014 said, “This is one of the best times we’ve ever had” in terms of cooperation between governments.
Koren continued,”There’s good cooperation between the armies, we have understandings about the Sinai Peninsula, and basically, we see (eye-to-eye) on the development of the region.”
Since al -Sisi reached power by a military coup in 2013, the Egyptian-Israeli relations have witnessed one of its flourishing time. Israel has become an important ally to Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, along with Saudi Arabia and wealthy Gulf Arab countries.
Al-Sisi was supported by the Gulf States to overthrow Mohammed Morsi in 2013 as they were against having a successful precedent in Egypt. The Gulf countries were against the Arab Spring protests that would shake their status.

Al-Sisi isolates Hamas

Moreover, al-Sisi has also assisted Israel in isolating  Hamas Resistance Movement ruling the Gaza Strip. Israeli military officials praise Egypt’s crackdown on Hamas’ cross-border smuggling tunnels, which had been a main conduit for weapons into Gaza, and say the Egyptian military is doing an admirable job in a fierce battle against IS militants in Sinai.
Hamas had close ties with the former Egyptian leader and is rooted in Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.
In the same context, Israel usually praises al-Sisi for his tough policies against Islamists, and considers him a key partner in the war against Islamic “extremists”.

ISIS-Affiliated Province of Sinai

Egypt and Israel military cooperation have flourished recently with the growing power of the ISIS-affliated group in Sinai Peninsula. Accordingly, Israel has allowed Egypt to move heavy weapons like tanks, artillery, and attack helicopters into the restive Sinai Peninsula. The two sides also are considered to have close intelligence ties.
Despite the two governments’ close ties, but the Egyptian-Israeli relation is still rejected by the Egyptian public opinion.

Al-Sisi-Netanyahu distinguished relations

sisi-netanyahu
In addition, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and al-Sisi often speak on the phone. Last May,al-Sisi said that Egypt’s relations with Israel could be warmer if it made peace with the Palestinians. In response, Netanyahu welcomed al-Sisi’s initiative and he praised what he described as al-Sisi’s “willingness” to help advance the peace process with the Palestinians.”
Koren said, “We have common enemies in the sense of terrorism, or if you like, radical Islamic terrorism, emerged from the same root no matter if it happens to be Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra or al-Qaida,” Koren said. He added, “understood quickly that we are all in the same boat.”The outrageous reached its peak followed the 2011 January Revolution when outraged crowds surrounded the Israeli embassy in Cairo over the killing of five Egyptian policemen by Israeli forces chasing militants in the Sinai. Since the incident, Israel closed it embassy and didn’t reopen its embassy, until September 2015.

Full normalization with Israel rejected

In the same context, political figures across Egypt still reject full normalization of Egyptian-Israeli relations, with many professional associations and labor unions banning members from visiting Israel.
Last year, Egypt’s parliament voted to expel a MP after he had dinner at the Israeli with Koren and a newspaper published a photo of Koren with devil’s horns superimposed on his head.
Moreover, any attempt to reach the Egyptian public opinion is faced in return by rejection. Earlier this year a new Arabic-language Facebook page set up by the Israeli embassy was flooded with insults and anti-Semitic comments, with some likening Jews to pigs and others calling them killers over the long-running conflict with the Palestinians – a popular hot-button topic in Arab countries.
Koren said, “Our aspiration is to come closer to the Egyptian people,” through cultural policy and social media. “But we understand, it’s a long process, there’s a long way to go. That’s why the stability of Egypt is important, and also the success of its economy.”
In addition, Koren described the economic relation with Egypt to be very slow saying that despite the successful free trade areas for manufacturing known as QIZ zones, “it’s going very slow” with regard to developing Israeli expertise in sectors that could benefit the Egyptian economy, such as agriculture, irrigation, and solar power.

Continue reading

#UK seeks #Saudi cluster bomb assurances over #Yemen

0 التعليقات

UK seeks Saudi cluster bomb assurances over Yemen


Cluster bombsImage copyrightAMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Image captionAmnesty claims it found these UK-made cluster bombs in Yemen

The UK government has sought fresh assurances from Saudi Arabia that British-made cluster bombs have not been used in the conflict in Yemen.

Amnesty International said it had documented the use of the weapons, manufactured in the 1970s.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told MPs there was currently no evidence Saudi Arabia had used cluster bombs.
Mr Hammond said the weapons described were decades old and it was now illegal to supply such bombs under British law.
Answering an urgent question in the Commons, defence minister Philip Dunne said the UK had ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions in 2010 and no longer supplied, manufactured or supported them.
He said there had been several conflicts in that region in the past decade so it was not clear that the evidence found had come from the current fighting.
Shadow defence secretary Emily Thornberry asked whether the Saudi military had used British planes to drop cluster bombs and what was the extent of British involvement in the conflict.
Mr Dunne replied: "I can categorically reassure [you] that no British planes have been involved in this coalition effort at all, let alone in dropping cluster munitions - that is the potential allegation. There is no British involvement in the coalition in targeting or weaponising aircraft to undertake missions."

'Nasty weapon'



Amnesty has written to Prime Minister David Cameron calling for a government inquiry into the allegations.
The human rights group claimed it found a partially-exploded BL-755 cluster bomb which had apparently malfunctioned, leaving scores of unexploded bomblets strewn over a wide area near a farm in Al-khadhra village, six miles from the Saudi border.
Amnesty said the bomb was originally manufactured by Bedfordshire company Hunting Engineering Ltd in the 1970s.
Amnesty International UK arms control director Oliver Sprague said: "Cluster bombs are one of the nastiest weapons in the history of warfare, rightly banned by more than 100 countries, so it's truly shocking that a British cluster munition has been dropped on a civilian area in Yemen."

Cluster bombs explained

  • The Convention on Cluster Munitions prohibits all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of cluster bombs
  • The convention has 108 signatories and became binding international law in 2010
  • Cluster bombs pose particular risks to civilians because they release many small bomblets over a wide area
  • During attacks, they are prone to indiscriminate effects especially in populated areas
  • Unexploded bomblets can kill or maim civilians long after a conflict has ended, and are costly to locate and remove
Source: United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs

A Saudi-led coalition of Arab air forces began carrying out airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen last year.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights estimates that at least 3,200 civilians have been killed and 5,700 wounded, with 60% of the casualties caused by airstrikes, in that time.
The conflict between President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi's UN-recognised government and the rebels began in September 2014
https://youtu.be/tIAVAYyioi4
https://youtu.be/Mpwo4vyn1n0

#bbc

Continue reading

EgyptAir Flight 804 vanishes from radar with 66 people aboard

0 التعليقات

EgyptAir Flight 804 vanishes from radar with 66 people aboard

EgyptAir Flight 804 vanishes from radar with 66 people aboard



The plane was flying at 37,000 feet when it lost contact overnight above the Mediterranean Sea, the airline tweeted. French President Francois Hollande said he was told the flight crashed, but Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sharif Fathi said he preferred to classify the flight as missing.
"We do not deny there is a possibility of terrorism or deny the possibility of technical fault," Fathi said at a Cairo news conference. "I will continue to use the term missing plane until we find any debris."
For now, finding the airplane and any possible survivors is the priority, authorities said.
Somber relatives gathered in Cairo and Paris airports, seeking word on their loved ones. They were taken to special centers at both airports, where translators and psychiatric support awaited. In Cairo's airport, dozens of relatives paced anxiously in a building set aside for families. Some shouted at photographers taking pictures of them, while others berated officials over the perceived lack of information.
Live updates: Missing flight MS804

Latest developments

-- Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos told reporters that search operations have not yet turned up anything.
-- The airplane "swerved and then plunged" before descending into the Mediterranean, the Greek minister told reporters.
-- Greek controllers tried to reach EgyptAir Flight 804 about 10 miles before it left the country's airspace and for about 90 seconds after and received no response, the head of the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority told Greek broadcaster ANT1 TV.
-- Prosecutors in Paris have opened an investigation into the disappearance of the plane, the office said in a statement. "No hypothesis is privileged or pushed aside for the moment," the statement said.

What happened

The flight seemed to be proceeding normally until it approached Egyptian airspace. Greek controllers talked to the pilot when the plane was near the Greek island of Kea at 37,000 feet at an air speed of 519 mph. Everything seemed fine at that point.
At 3:27 a.m. local time, shortly before the aircraft was scheduled to exit Greek airspace, controllers tried to reach the pilots to transfer control to Cairo authorities. Despite repeated attempts, they received no response, the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority said. The plane passed into Egyptian airspace two minutes later. Forty seconds later, radar contact was lost, the authority said.
Weather conditions were clear at the time,meteorologist Pedram Javaheri said.

Continue reading

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

ShareThis