The Arab Federation for Human Rights (AFHR) expresses its strong condemnation for the horrific terrorist attack on Al-Rawda Mosque near the city of Arish in the north of Sinai, which targeted and killed about 250 worshipers during Friday prayers. Approximately 109 people were wounded in the attack and the majority of them are in critical condition, which could lead to a high number of victims.
The Arab Federation for Human Rights strongly condemns this heinous crime and reiterates that it is a flagrant and gross violation of human rights, particularly the fundamental human “rights to life” guaranteed by several international legislations. AFHR also condemns the targeting of places of worship and the killing of innocent people and civilians as cowardly acts of terrorism that violate the values of tolerance, peace, acceptance of the other and all the teachings of the divine religions. It also considers such attacks as a threat to the political, social and security stability of the country. The 1997 International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings describes anybody as committing a terrorist offense if he/she unlawfully and intentionally use of explosives in public places with intention to kill, to injure, or to cause extensive destruction to compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing some act. The convention equally urges its member states to take measures to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of such terrorist acts to prevent the impunity.
The Arab Federation for Human Rights asserts that this horrific crime reaffirms the failure of attempts to cover up religion. The worshipers at the Sayyid al-Badawi mosque in Tanta were first targeted in the middle of the Delta more than two years ago. Egypt also witnessed three waves terrorist attacks targeting Christian citizens and their worshipers in August 2013 throughout the country and later on in December 2016 in both Cairo and North Sinai, as well as Tanta, Alexandria and other areas in April 2017.
AFHR further affirms that the continuation of these acts of terrorism and all forms of violence and incitement aimed at the places of worship for Muslims and Christians in Egypt contributes to creating and fueling social division and equally threatens national unity. Terrorism has become one of the main weapons used against stability and national unity of Arab states to fuel sectarian conflicts aimed at destroying or weakening of their capabilities and development of civilization. The AFHR emphasizes the importance of the Egyptian government to secure public places, especially religious ones, historical, national and civil society institutions. The Egyptian government has the responsibility to preserve national security, stability and development.
The Federation calls for urgent international collective action against terrorism and stresses the importance of prosecuting States and individuals responsible for supporting, funding, training and arming terrorists, as well as providing safe havens to their representatives. The United Nations Security Council equally needs to tackle the phenomenon of terrorism through the four pillars of the United Nations counter-terrorism strategy, embodied in measures to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, taking measures to prevent and combat terrorism and building the capacity of States to prevent and combat terrorism. They also need to ensure respect for human rights for all and the rule of law as the cornerstone for the fight against terrorism.
The Arab Federation for Human Rights expresses its fraternal and humanitarian solidarity with the Egyptian people, which for years have been subjected to wild explosions by terrorist organizations targeting ordinary citizens in Egypt. At the same time, the AFHR demands that Egyptian authorities should work hard to provide security, stability, peace and protection for citizens in Egypt and shield them from the consequences of such criminal operations. They equally should pursue and eradicate these rebels or terrorist groups formed in Egypt which serves as a new place for their aggressive activity and to bring them to justice for a fair punishment.
The AFHR also sincerely extends its sincere sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed, those injured, the Egyptian government and the entire Egyptian society as well as its wishes a speedy recovery of those injured. The Federation further calls for the unity of the Egyptian society, which is a fundamental factor in achieving the common goal of eradicating and eradicating terrorism.
Arab Federation for Human Rights
Geneva, November 25th 2017