February 18th, 2015 by Editor
Throughout the past decades the world went through a lot of costly hardships to establish a firm modern understanding of humanity, and a binding solid definition of human rights. By that, the preservation and maintenance of human rights have become a nonnegotiable must by any state that wishes to be an advanced respected actor in international circles. Never the less, despite the great achievements human rights are still subject to wide scale violations in many parts of the world, and violations are caused by several actors depending on the situation. The most terrifying of those actors who violate human rights on a global scale are extremist Islamist terrorist groups and organizations. It won’t be an exaggeration if we say that terrorism is the greatest threat to human civilization in the 21st century. Therefor more concrete action has to be taken in order to repel this menacing threat. As one of the most prominent Human Rights Organizations in Egypt, EOHR issues this brief report in order to give an overview of terror in Egypt, and give recommendations to the international community on how to effectively curb the threat of terrorism. EOHR takes the chance to issue this report as world leaders are convening the United States in a summit on extremism, and hopes that the international community listens to the opinion of civil society on this extremely important subject. Egypt like many countries in the region suffers from a dark wave of terrorism that intensified after the ouster of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi from power after a massive popular uprising in the summer of 2013. Terrorism after the fall of Morsi started spreading to many parts of Egypt, before that it was largely confined to the Sinai Peninsula. Terrorist attacks in Egypt have killed hundreds of people over the past 20+ months. The attacks are indiscriminate as they target Police, Military personnel and civilians alike. Terrorist attacks also targeted the country’s infrastructure, especially electricity transformers and pylons, as well as railway trains, and metro stations. EOHR has kept record of these attacks, and its Terrorism observatory has detailed reports on its website, and they document these attacks and the damage they have caused whether human or material. Using the Egyptian case as an example of a country that suffers from terrorism we can safely say that Terrorism violates the core principles of human rights; principles like the right to life, the right to personal security, freedom of expression, religious freedom, and other rights that are stipulated and guaranteed by international human rights treaties and conventions. What makes terrorism the most dangerous threat to human rights is, the moral conviction has regarding the crimes they commit, and the moral justifications for their horrendous acts. This is why terrorism is currently EOHR’s biggest concern, as it happens to be the gravest threat to lives in Egypt.
EOHR has a few recommendations for the international community with regards to their counter terrorism efforts:
The international community has to take more measures in order to dry the sources of funding of terrorist entities especially that some countries in the Middle East are suspected of funding terrorist groups, and should be pressured to cease this vile behavior immediately.
More efforts have to be undertaken by the international community to control, and cut the arming of terrorist organizations, and same as the first point, states in the Middle East are believed to arm notable terrorist groups in the region in violation of international law. Those states should be forced to stop their support to terrorism, and should be punished for their actions.
States should not give asylum to people who committed, supported, or encouraged act of terrorism, and states harboring such individuals should extradite them immediately to their countries so that they can stand trial for the crimes.
States that allow Television channels that incite and encourage terrorism to air from their territories, should be pressured to close these TV channels immediately, and prosecute those who incited people to carry out acts of terrorism. Among those states are Turkey and Qatar, from which channels that called upon the people to murder police officers and their families in Egypt aired. Those channels even aired the address of several police officers so that terrorists can go and kill them. If these states do not comply, the international community should punish them accordingly.
A more effective mechanism has to be created for preventing terrorists from using the social media to propagate their hateful ideology, and the footage of their heinous crimes.
All entities that carry out acts of terrorism should be treated as terrorist organizations, and states such as the US and others should change their selective attitude towards the issue of terrorism, as they refuse to consider the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organization despite their implication in many acts of violence, subversion and terrorism.
Substantial aid, should be granted to states fighting terrorism within their borders by the international community as these states are in the vanguard of humanity’s battle against extremism. Those states are Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, Pakistan, Tunisia, Algeria and Afghanistan.
Great Islamic scholarly institutions in the Muslim world, especially Al Azhar, as well as Muslim states should review the medieval interpretation of Islamic teachings, and engage in a true process of religious reform in order to deliver true Islam to Muslims, and not the distorted version of the reactionary extremist forces.
More international cooperation between states, in order to come up with a common strategy to counter terrorism more effectively.
Civil society should be given a bigger role in the battle against terror, which should come in the form of spreading the culture of tolerance, as well as spreading awareness on the danger of extremist thought.
In conclusion EOHR would like to stress that all captured terrorists should not be denied their human rights. Meaning that they should not be tortured, and should be punished through fair trials according to the international and domestic laws, without violating any of their human rights. EOHR wishes for the summit on extremism success, and wishes that the international community takes its recommendations into account, as they could be of great help if effectively and immediately implemented.
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