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They are killing prisoners

Image of Egyptian security forces
Egyptian security forces [file photo]

All of the Egyptians were shocked on Thursday when anti-coup Al-Mekameleen television broadcast the leaked video of Egyptian soldiers leading young imprisoned men in Sinai, including a child who was handcuffed and blindfolded. The commander ordered the soldiers to kill these prisoners, and they were forced to lie down on the ground and were shot at point blank range. One soldier shot one of the prisoners directly in the head, less than a metre away, prompting the commander to order soldiers not to shoot prisoners in the head. After shooting the prisoners, the soldiers put a Kalashnikov rifle near them and wrapped an explosives belt on some in order to portray them as terrorists who were neutralised in a military operation. They staged the scene to look as if they were one of the terrorist cells in Sinai targeting our soldiers and had died in an exchange of fire. The official spokesman for the Armed Forces had announced that these prisoners were liquidated months ago as part of his alleged war on terrorism.

There was no official statement by the army denying or confirming this video, but instead they released their hounds in the corrupt media to respond. Some mocked the video and described it as an animation movie produced by Al Jazeera despite the fact that another channel broadcasted it. Others were so corrupt that they said that even if the video were true and not fabricated, the army should be thanked for relieving us from these terrorists, and even called for more of these operations. It is funny that one of the strategic experts called for prohibiting the soldiers from carrying mobile phones so that they cannot use them to film such operations and leak the videos.

Human Rights Watch confirmed that the video was true and the commander responsible for the execution, as well as two brothers from the Al-Rumailat tribe who were victims, were all identified. The tribe was mentioned in the video when one of the victims was asked what tribe he belonged to in Sinai. The two brothers, Dawoud and Abdel Hadi Sabry Al-Awaida (16 and 18 years old) were arrested and forcibly disappeared. The organisation also reported that the Egyptian army in Sinai executed no less than eight unarmed prisoners and then covered up the operation, making the victims seems like armed “terrorists” who were shot while being captured.

Human Rights Watch also reported that the man in the video wearing a camouflage uniform who executed two young men, one after the other with a rifle, is a member of a local militia known in Sinai as Team 103 formed by the Egyptian army in 2015 to help in Sinai operations and is supervised and equiped by the army. The organisation also noted that the video showed a member of the Egyptian military intelligence directing the first execution and that the soldiers are using Humvees, given to Egypt by the US. Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division, said that the brutal murders confirm that the Egyptian campaign to combat terrorism has become uncontrollable and Egypt’s allies can no longer overlook these deadly violations.

The Human Rights Watch deputy director is right when he said that America, the Egyptian government’s ally that trains and arms it, cannot continue to overlook and ignore all the inhumane and immoral acts committed by the army against the people of Sinai. Before this shocking video was broadcasted, we heard about the arbitrary attack against unarmed civilians in Sinai and killing a number of women and children in the army’s clear chaos and confusion in its military operations given the geographical complications in the area and the nature of the landscape in Sinai.

There have also been revenge operations between the army and the people of Sinai because the army completely prohibits any new agencies, regardless of whether they are international or local agencies and no media outlets to cover what is happening in Sinai. They only permit the information they broadcast, which has turned out to be false, fabricated by the army.

The Egyptians do not know the truth of what is happening in a very important part of their country and what is happening to their fellow Egyptians. We did not know our national army, who we had loved, honoured and respected, has become like the army of the killer Bashar Al-Assad, killing its own people in cold blood. You have God, Egypt.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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