The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights Violence Index Report for 2014

March 16th, 2015 by Editor

 

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights Violence Index Report for 2014

March 11th, 2015

On March 11th, 2015 the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) released the violence index report for 2014. The report pointed out that Egypt has witnessed a fierce wave of violence as part of the violence series attacks committed by the so called Islamic groups. The current series started since the January 25th Revolution when violence attacks were carried out against churches and state institutions (police stations, courts/judges,state registries, police headquarters, towns and villages). The attacks continued during the ruling period of President Mohamed Morsi as the Supreme Constitutional Court was sieged, media reports were attacked in front of the Media Production City. Later on, force was used to disperse the peaceful sit-in organised by the Muslim Brotherhood Militia. Some journalists, as well, were assassinated for example, Al-Husseini Abu Def,  in addition organised assaults were carried out against demonstrators in front the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters followed by the siege of the attorney general  office and the Court of Cassation.

The report is divided into three sections:

Section I: Political Violence Map

Since the ousted of former President Mohamed Morsi in June 30th, 2013; Egypt suffers from constant violent and terrorist attacks against security institutions in addition, Egyptian universities suffer from security turmoil. This is not the first incident of violence on the Egyptian modern history concerning the various confrontations with the so called Islamic groups. The first confrontation goes back to the beginning of the seventies, and since then three generations witnessed violence:

The first generation, also called the generation of major central organizations; that is theIslamic groups and the Jihad group.  Following theJanuary revolution these groups declared the initiative to stop violence and get engaged in the political life. Later on, they were united with the Muslim Brotherhood after the outset of former President Mohamed Morsi, and consequently they were accused of inciting the current violence episode that Egypt suffers from.

The second generation, named as the generation of globaljihad, founded officially in 1998. That year witnessed the foundation of the World Islamic Front for Fighting Jews and Crusaders, led by Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, and also co-founded by various Islamic groups from all over the world.

The third generation, also called the generation of random violence, it is based on the notion of random small organizations that are dependent on the Internet.

For the last four decades, these groups constituted part of the Egyptian dilemma, which is the case for the militia groups existing Sinai peninsula. These groups have resorted to violence against the army especially after the dispersal of Rabaa sit-in. In greater Cairo and the valley there are two kinds of these groups; the “Egyptian soldiers group” which is quite powerful or small groups that include a limited number of individuals formed for the implementation of a particular operation or a few operations.

The report pointed to the most prominent terrorist operations carried out by these groups in Egypt in the period from January 13thuntil December 25th, 2014. There were about 109 incidents varying from gun firing on  police check points and security forces, bombing of gas lines, planting improvised explosive devices, car bombings, targeting of military aircraft, raiding a number of  police stations and attacking military and police officers.

Section II: Current motives of violence in Egypt

The phenomenon of violence is a serious violation of human rights as they affect the right to life, the right of physical safety and psychological integrity. Violence may appear in the form of verbal violence or physical violence. Violence is a complex phenomenon since its interpretation involves a number of factors; foremost psychological factors influence directly or indirectly the individuals’ condition in the community. There are many motives behind the Muslim Brotherhood escalation of the rate of violence and chaos in Egypt:

1. These groups suffer from retaliatory motives since the Islamic movement feel it was ousted from power. According to these groups the outset was a result of a conspiracy plotted by the state apparatus and the secular opposition groups who disapprove of Islamism and Islamic state being in power. These groups believe the Rabaa sit-in dispersal witnessed a massacre and therefore revenge must be carried out against generally the state’s institutions and especially the security forces.

2. These groups’ activities are mainly founded on the “great injustice” hate speech which was promoted by Islamic groups after the outset of Mohammed Morsi, and the dispersal of Rabaa and Al-Nahda sit-ins.

3. In contrast to previous violent-Islamic-generations which seeked to seize power in order to establish an Islamic state. The third-generation organizations witnessed the arrival of the Islamic movement to power for the first time in its history, but its dream of an Islamic state was not fulfilled.

4. The previous violent-Islamic-generations stance about democracy and the electoral process remained blurry and confused. Most of these groups prohibited participation in the elections based on the perception that elections allow humans the right to legislate which is regarded to be divine right solely. Such groups currently justify its violence claiming that they are defending the votes that have been wasted after a fair democratic process.

5- Part of the current groups is keen to link itself to global jihad movement, as a number of them declared its stance regarding the dispute between the ISIS and al-Qaeda.

6. This is the first time that the center of the violent-Islamic-organizations in Egypt is clearly transferred from Cairo and Delta zones, where the great mass of the population is concentrated to the sparsely populated border zones, specifically the Sinai Peninsula.

Section III: Monitoring of the provisions of the judiciary in cases of violence

In the history of the Egyptian judiciary, 2014 is considered to be the peak year of the Egyptian judiciary in terms of the number of cases recorded. The criminal courts received 32 thousand and 893 defendants. According to the statistics confirmed by the Ministry of Justice, 45% of the total defendants are tried in violence related issues, demonstrating, terrorism and belonging to banned groups. There are provisional 414 sentences of death by hanging, while the rest are being tried in cases not related to politics. It should be noticed that these statistics do not include the number of defendants who are under trail and interrogation by the general prosecution system and the military judiciary.

During 2014 EOHR recorded 150 sentences on defendants who committed acts of violence, terror, demonstrated without permission from the competent authority. These judgments were distributed among the various Egyptian governorates, where the Cairo governorate ranked first by 51 judgements on a number of citizens. The province of Asyut came second by 19 judgements, third is Dakahlia by 14 judgements, and fourth is Alexandria governorate by 12 judgements, followed by Suez by 10 judgements. Damietta followed by 9 judgements, then Minya by 7 judgements, then Al Sharqia and Kafr El-Sheikh by 6 judgements for each, followed by Al Beheira by 4 judgements, Al Gharbia by 3 judgements, then Giza, Ismailia by two judgments for each, Faiyum, Mounfia, Luxor, Qena, Giza ranked last by a single rule of judgement for each one of them.

The following chart shows the distribution of judgements monitored by EOHR in different governorates during 2014

 

EOHR recorded issues related to the number of rule of judgment at different intervals of the year, April is considered to be the peak time. April witnessed the issuing of 37 judgements in terror-related-cases, second came June by 33 judgments, while May ranked third by 18 judgments.  December ranked fourth by 17 judgments; July came fifth by 12 judgements, while January and February came last.

The following chart shows the distribution ofjudgements recoded by EOHR on different months during 2014:

The report, in addition, recorded judgements which amounted to 149 judgements in various Egyptian governorates.

Conclusions and recommendations:

The report concluded by a set of recommendations including:

1. To complete the construction of the democratic Egyptian state (parliamentary elections – local councils’ elections) to offer political partnership for all the society components that adheres to non-violent methods.

2. Amendment of the legislative structure to ensure the effectiveness of the war against terrorism by drying up its financial resources, and all forms of incitement.

3. Increase the international cooperation in order to track persona who finance terrorism or recruit individuals to fight in countries such as Egypt, Libya, Syria and Iraq.

4- This strategy should maintain the equilibrium between security and the preservation of human rights, including the war against torture, ill-treatment and all the shapes of human dignity degradation.

5. Confirm the right of fair trial for all defendants, including those accused of terrorist offenses to make sure they are punished for committing assaults on citizens, property or government institutions.

6. Promotion of the holy Al-Azhar’s role in the war against extremist ideas. The source of terrorism is not the social, economic levels or the political situation, but it is a product of ideas and ideologies that accepts violence as an approach to gain power, to kill opponents, and use force to impose theological perceptions.

 

 

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