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UN urges Egypt to clarify forcible disappearances

July 23, 2015 at 12:16 pm

The United Nations has issued a resolution calling for the Egyptian government to clarify the reasons behind the forcible disappearance of dozens of Egyptian citizens, including children, Quds Press reported on Wednesday.

Quds Press reported the team of international lawyers commissioned by the Egyptian Freedom and Justice Party as saying that they carried out a number of measures that led the UN to issue this resolution.

The National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) said in June that it received 60 complaints regarding the forced disappearance of Egyptians. Amnesty International estimated the number of forcibly disappeared Egyptians as 44, while other rights groups claim that since the coup as many as 163 people have gone missing in custody.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch issued a report on Monday in which it highlighted the issue of forcible disappearances in Egypt.

“Egyptian authorities should immediately disclose their whereabouts and hold those responsible to account,” the report said. “The authorities should either release anyone illegally detained or charge the person with a recognisable crime.”

The organisation called on Egyptian authorities to bring these citizens “immediately before a judge to review their detention, and try them before a court that meets international fair trial standards.”

HRW underlined that “enforced disappearances constitute a serious violation of international human rights law and, if carried out systematically as a matter of policy, are a crime against humanity.”

The organisation’s Deputy Middle East director Joe Stork confirmed that the forcible disappearances carried out by the current Egyptian authorities are overseen by President Abdul-Fattah Al-Sisi.

“Egyptian security forces have apparently snatched up dozens of people without a word about where they are or what has happened to them,” Stork said. “The failure of the public prosecution to seriously investigate these cases reinforces the nearly absolute impunity that security forces have enjoyed under President Al-Sisi.”