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Egypt stages counter-terror raid to cover up extrajudicial killings

Security forces in Egypt may have arbitrarily detained and forcibly disappeared up to ten men and then staged a counterterrorism raid to cover up their killings, says an investigation carried out by Human Rights Watch.

Based on interviews with relatives and a video released by Egyptian authorities that purports to show an anti-terrorism raid that killed 10 Daesh fighters, HRW said at least some of the men were arrested some months before the “raid” took place. Family members of some of the victims say they were arrested and intimidated by police when they spoke out.

Read: HRW says Egypt is stifling right to strike

Experts who analysed the footage say there are indications it is fake, such as the fact that security officers are creeping up on the house and yet the scene has been illuminated enough that it can be filmed.

Authorities say the men opened fire on security officers and yet one of them is filmed being shot at close range showing no kind of threat. The position of the bodies suggests they had been moved.

These apparent extrajudicial killings reveal total impunity for Egypt’s security forces in the Sinai Peninsula under President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s counterterrorism policies

said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

“Prosecutors need to conduct a full and transparent investigation to get to the bottom of what appear to be grave abuses.”

The killings have caused outrage and protests – demonstrators are demanding the release of prisoners held without charge, that North Sinai’s representatives in parliament and those responsible for the killings resign.

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