The Anti-Terrorist Observatory of the Arab Federation for Human Rights (AFHR) and the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) strongly condemns the terrorist incident that took place on Friday 20/10/2017 in Bahariya Oasis, Gazi province of Egypt. The terror attack resulted in the death and wounding of dozens of Egyptian police officers and security personnel. The Counter-Terrorism Observatory committee request the Egyptian authorities to take immediate necessary measures to investigate, arrest the perpetrators of this horrific attack and bring them to justice.
The Anti-Terrorism Observatory asserts that terrorism is a gross violation against one of the most fundamental human rights, the “right to life”, which is by far my most important rights enshrined in several human rights instruments.
According to information received by the Egyptian National Security Sector, the incident occurred when Egyptian security forces arrived at a jihadists hideout on a road to the Bahariya oasis, some 135 kilometers (125 miles) southwest of Cairo, with the aim to raid and arrest terrorist elements in the area. Unidentified gunmen appeared and attacked the convoy by using rocket fire and explosive devices which led to the death and wounding of a number of policemen as well as the death of a number of these militants. The BBC places the death toll of the security forces involved in the clash at 53 members of were killed while the Ministry of Interior in Egypt revealed that the number of those killed were 35 recruits, 18 officers (10 special operations officers, 7 officers of the national security, and a police officer).
The Counter-Terrorist Observatory expresses its sincere condolences to the Egyptian government, all victims of terrorist incident and to all Egyptians. It affirms that terrorist crimes constitute a blatant violation on the set of rights and freedoms that have been embodied in many international conventions and treaties, most importantly the right to life, liberty and security of person. The Counter-Terrorism Observatory believes that these criminal acts is aimed at destabilizing Egypt’s security and stability which are incompatible with any religious and human values and principles.
The Counter-Terrorism Observatory reiterates its unequivocal condemnation of all acts of violence and terrorism aimed at killing, destruction and spreading the culture of death. It calls for the need to reinforce security measures within ambushed areas and important places, and to use modern techniques in investigation of these crimes. The Counter-Terrorism Observatory demands that the international community take the necessary steps to strengthen cooperation to prevent and combat terrorism.
Dr. Ahmed Thani Al-Hamli, President and Founder of the Arab Federation for Human Rights, said that “the terrorist acts, which have escalated in recent years, pose a serious threat to the security and lives of human beings and constitutes a flagrant violation of the set of rights, freedoms and personal security that have been endorsed by all international conventions; and that terrorism is incompatible with the teachings of religions, especially the tolerant teachings of Islam, and violates the rule of law and international humanitarian law.”
“The responsibility to combat terrorism is necessarily a collective responsibility that is not limited to one country or another without help from another. Therefore, coordination and intensification of joint international efforts to counter and combat terrorism as a transnational organized crime must be coordinated at the security, intellectual, cultural and media levels. This could be accomplished in the framework of a single crucible, whose first and last objective is to eliminate this deadly crime, or at least to reduce its negative effects and effects. “
Dr. Al-Hamli called on the United Nations, the decision-making countries in the world and the international community to adopt a more effective strategy in the face of terrorism wherever it is, and in drying up its sources and punishing countries and organizations supporting it.
For his part, Dr. Hafez Abu Esada, head of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, stressed that the acts, methods and practices of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations are activities that threaten the territorial integrity and security of States and that these despicable acts of terrorism causes the death of thousands of innocent victims of all races, cultures and religious beliefs. In the past, victims of crime, including terrorism, have often been the forgotten parties in the criminal justice system, but in recent years there has been a degree of recognition of the rights and roles of these important actors in criminal justice. This is essential to the efforts of the international community to combat terrorism in bringing the perpetrators of terrorist acts to justice and to hold them accountable for their actions in line with the rule of law and human rights. This fundamental principle requires Member States to implement effective and rule-based national measures to investigate such crimes and to provide protection and support to victims of such crimes within the criminal justice system.