Egyptian opposition journalist and TV presenter Abdullah El-Sherif has said that state security forces stormed his father’s home and arrested his two brothers days after he released a video showing army soldiers torturing and mutilating a young man’s corpse in the Sinai Peninsula.
“Army militias stormed my father’s house in Egypt’s coastal city of Alexandria, searched it, and arrested my brothers Amr and Ahmed, in response to the footage I recently released on social media,” El-Sherif said on Twitter, adding that he knew nothing about his brothers’ fates or whereabouts.
The footage was reported to have presented Egyptian soldier Abdulrahman of military battalion #103 mutilating a corpse and then setting fire to it. Several rights organisations have said the victim was a civilian but his name has not yet been confirmed.
Egypt has been fighting a protracted war on terror in the Sinai Peninsula that has intensified during President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s rise to power.
Locals have described it as a war on civilians due to the punitive measures that are carried out against the local population and the abuse recorded on this latest video confirms that systematic rights violations are taking place there.
The government has gone to great measures to control the narrative, pushing the idea it is fighting a just war on terror and at the same time prohibiting journalists and human rights workers from entering the peninsula.
Humanitarian and rights groups have questioned Egypt’s ability to tackle terrorism given that it is estimated there are only 1,000 militants at any one time in the peninsula, yet seven years later the war continues.
A recent UN report raised serious concerns about Egypt’s anti-terror laws being abused to increase rights violations in the peninsula, including the suspension of schools across North Sinai.