Legal Jurist demanded the Egyptian Organization and Arab Federation to raise an international Lawsuit on behalf of terrorist operations victims against States sponsors of terrorism

July 27th, 2017 by Editor

Legal Jurist demanded the Egyptian Organization and Arab Federation to raise an international Lawsuit on behalf of

terrorist operations victims against States sponsors of terrorism

The participants; Law Professors, Constitutional Jurists and lawyers agreed on the need to raise an international lawsuit to compensate the victims of terrorist operations from the forces that support these terrorist operations and provide them with financial and logistical support. A legal committee of experts will be formed by the Egyptian Organization and the Arab Federation for Human Rights to adopt raising an international lawsuit against the states which sponsor terrorist operations in Egypt. This statement was the final statement of the Regional Conference held by the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) and the Arab Federation for Human Rights on Wednesday, 26 July 2017.

For his part, Diaa Rashwan, head of the State Information Service, said that in the recent period, we face many terrorist attacks that threaten the basic human rights system. Civil society organizations play a role in confronting such attacks that are executed by terrorists. Perhaps the latest action by the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights and Arab Federation in order to restore the rights of victims of these terrorist attacks is very important. Rashwan called for the need to enact legislations at the Arab level to compensate the victims of terrorist operations and their families. Terrorism kills and the persons who are behind it resort to repression.

Dr. Alaa Abed, head of Human Rights Committee of the Parliament, called for convening of an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations or a special session of the General Assembly of the United Nations to discuss the phenomenon of terrorism and accelerate the preparation of the United Nations comprehensive convention on international terrorism. The convention shall include an internationally  agreed upon specific definition of terrorism, that distinguishes between terrorism and the legitimate right of peoples to resist occupation, bearing in mind that killing innocent civilians is not approved by divine laws or international charters, with asking the international community not to confuse terrorism with the true Islamic religion that calls for tolerance , preventing extremism and terrorism as well as the necessity of enhancing regional and international cooperation to confront this phenomenon.

Dr. Ahmed Bin Thani Al Hamli, President of the Arab Federation for Human Rights, stressed that terrorist acts have escalated in recent years, representing a serious threat to the security and lives of people and their civilization. Moreover, they represent a flagrant violation of human rights and freedoms, approved by international charters and conventions, most prominent are the right to life, freedom and personal security.

Al-Hamli added that the current Qatari crisis reveals the problems that result from the lack of cooperation among countries in the fight against terrorism, especially with their immediate neighbors. Qatar’s behavior opposed regional and global efforts to combat terrorism and extremism, hence, jeopardizing efforts to combat terrorism.

Dr. Hafez Abu Saeda, Chairman of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, pointed out that acts of terrorism cause injuring and harming thousands of innocent victims of all races, cultures and religious beliefs worldwide annually. In the past, victims of crime, including terrorism, were often the forgotten parties in criminal justice system. However, recent years have witnessed a degree of recognition of the rights and roles of these important actors within the framework of criminal justice. An integral part of the international community`s efforts to combat terrorism is to bring the perpetrators of terrorist acts to justice and hold them accountable for their actions, in consistency with the rule of law and human rights.

Abu Saeda added that the goal of compensation is to restore confidence and integrate victims into society without neglecting the material side. Whether compensation is individual or collective, the principles of justice and equality must be established and bias or discrimination must be avoided, since reparations are symbolic of the right enjoyed by each individual and recognition of the value of each individual in society. Abo Saeda raised the principle of compensation of victims of crime in general, and victims of terrorist crime in particular.

The first session was entitled “International and regional legislation to combat terrorism” where Prof. Mustafa Kamel El-Sayed, Professor of Political Science – Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University, said that crime of terrorism has an international dimension rather than an internal dimension as this crime is transnational and involves multinational personalities, stressing that this crime exceeded national legislation, and confronting such crimes is possible through establishment of special prisons for them.

Dr. Mohamed Shawki, Professor of International Law – Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University, indicated that there are international definitions of terrorism and there are international and regional conventions. He pointed out that the Arab Convention on Suppression of Terrorism, which was adopted in 1998 and came into effect in 1999; has set a comprehensive specified definition of terrorism excluding only the armed struggle against the colonizer as it is based on a legitimate right.

Shawki said that in case of terrorism against a specific state, the competent authority to hold the perpetrators accountable is the authorities of this state, but in case of arresting the offender by another country, in this case, the international law decides the state of nationality`s responsibility pointing out that if a crime of terrorism occurs in a certain State, the perpetrator shall be tried for the offense in which he was arrested.

Shawki added that there are countries proven to support terrorism in accordance to specific and clear evidences, pointing out that compensation is not only monetary compensation, it is not the basis, wondering whether the state will be prosecuted or natural person who committed an international crime and barricades himself behind an international job shall be prosecuted. International Criminal Court tries genocide crimes, war crimes, crimes of aggression and crimes against humanity which are not statute of limitations. So far, since 2002 the court did not issue a specific definition of the crimes of aggression and limited its role to the other three crimes, noting that the definition was not specified until 2010 (Kampala – Uganda) as the definition of the crime of aggression was defined (via a proposal from the Netherlands) that terrorism is an international crime, it is a war crime to which the peoples are subjected and the matter is referred to the International Criminal Court as a war crime.

Shawki called for resorting to the International Criminal Court in this regard because it is the competent entity, not the UN Security Council, just as what happened with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, because this will not achieve what we want ,which is to prove the charge and inflict punishment.

Dr. Samir Ghatas, member of the Parliament and Strategic terrorism suppression expert began his speech by liberating Mosel In Iraq from the grip of ISIS organization, and Raqqa in Syria may be liberated soon and then perhaps Libya or Sinai, which will lead to elimination of ISIS organization and other terrorism groups.

He pointed out that the terrorist organizations since the eighties until now were the beginning of ISIS terrorist organization, that there are no definite scientific definitions stating that some theories indicate that these terrorist organizations were created by countries and foreign intelligence agencies and not the development of local movements and organizations, stressing the need to confront Terrorism intellectually and drain its sources, so that citizenship will be the basis of society and until such terrorist groups are eliminated.

Ghattas demanded the countries to amend international and regional conventions to take into account the victims of terrorism and their families who have nothing to do with the attacks and are not participants, particularly that the measures imposed by the authorities may harm citizens who are victims of the terrorism situation.

Dr. Nour El Din Ali, The legal expert, explained that the precise definition of terrorism helps to combat it and compensate the victims, whether they were state or people, calling for a specific definition of the victim and setting a legal basis for compensation, especially if it is from foreign countries.

He criticized absence of a procedural law concerning the value of compensation and absence of competent courts for compensation from foreign countries. He demanded encouraging international and regional legislations and accession to these legislations to determine the perpetrator and value of compensation, especially Article 39 of the Penal Code that defines the perpetrator of the crime. He wondered: will we invent solutions and apply the principle that strength imposes the right to try the perpetrators and encourage new ideas to compensate the victims? He further pointed to the moral actor who helped to establish the crime in the mind of the actor, especially the responsibility of the media and international funding of the crime.

As for the second session, it was entitled “Means of achieving Legal Support for the Victims of Terrorism“, Dr. Ali Al-Ghatit, Professor of International Law and international arbitrator, referred to the importance of international law and relying on it in accusation, defense or judgment, stressing that international law does not judge by suspicions, it needs documented irrefutable evidences against the accused so that he may be sentenced to compensation or execution.

Al-Ghatit pointed out that the standards of the international courts are not ordinary or simple standards, they are standards based on international charters. Al-Ghatit called for no rushing in accusation. He pointed out that Jasta law that is issued by the USA is not based on international standards because America is the authority which charges, judges and estimates the value of the compensation. He advised Saudi Arabia not to issue a law in response to it because it would lack international standards, pointing out that it would be better to raise charges through competent international court on clear bases and documents.

For his part, Mr. Essam Shiha, Secretary-General of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights and lawyer before court of cassation, stated that the balances of power in the world govern terrorism suppression, getting compensation and rights of the victims issues. He illustrated by example that as soon as Saudi Arabia gave a hint of supporting terrorism, the United States issued the law of Jasta as well as Britain and other countries which can obtain compensation and rights of their victims.

Shiha added that the second problem in compensating the victims is the competent international courts, since the local courts can easily carry out their sentences, while if a foreign country supports or incites terrorism, the local courts will find it difficult to do so. The International Criminal Court is not competent in this field, according to its law. Therefore, it is required to provide documented specific evidences so that these issues can be tried by it.

Shiha added that the Arab League had a role in obtaining compensation and victims’ rights but it did not play it. European countries did so. The US Treasury Department issued a statement on the involvement of the Al Thani family with $ 64 billion in support of terrorism cases. This is clear evidence against Qatar ((Confirmed financial transfers))…

For his part, Abdul Jawad Ahmed, a member of the Bar Association  emphasized the importance to obtain the rights and compensation of victims with the difficulty of proving that and the difficulty of determining the value of appropriate compensation, especially that there are many parties involved in these crimes.

Ahmed added that there is a difficulty in determining if the responsibility is personal, or it is the responsibility of the state to which the perpetrators of the crime belong, as well as evidence, documentation and information, pointing to the absence of a lawyers and defense team that is qualified for these issues.

Ahmed said that since Hammurabi and the Pharaohs, if there is no access to the real culprit, the state is committed to compensate the victims. He noted that the Islamic Sharia provides for blood money in case of these crimes and compensation for victims, pointing out that the routine and the slow sentences affect compensation of victims, stressing that the compensation must be a final judgment, as the culprit may be killed or run away and therefore the court will be unable to execute the judgments of compensation.

Ahmed added that the compensation sentences are small and disproportionate to the extent of the damage to the victims. He called for the enactment of legislation that would regulate the responsibility of the party, even if he is not Egyptian, with simplifying the procedures and speed of judgment in these cases. He demanded founding a fund to execute compensation verdicts of terrorism victims before issuing the legislative amendment of terrorism lawsuits.

As for Ahmed Abdel Hafeez, Deputy Chairman of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights and the lawyer before the court of cassation, he pointed out that the local legislation can adjudge a sentence in favor of   the victims with fair and guaranteed compensation and that litigation is a guaranteed right for all. He pointed out that international law guarantees litigation at the international level without recourse to the State. The evidence of that United States of America`s issuance of compensation from Saudi Arabia without reference to it, these compensations will be deducted from the Kingdom`s funds there, as well as compensating Aya Hijazi with $ 2 million deducted from the US aid to Egypt, this is done by European countries , Britain and other countries.

Abdel Hafeez pointed to the importance of international standards for fair trial before the International Court of Justice or the International Criminal Court, pointing out that there are Arab countries which support terrorism for political or ethnic purposes to destabilize a certain country and affect its role at the international level.

The third session was entitled “live testimonies from Sinai“. Dr. Salah Sallam, member of the National Council for Human Rights, Vice President of Sinai University and the head of Sinai doctors Syndicate, indicated that terrorism threatens all forms of life in Sinai; different roads, communication networks, all aspects of life, electricity cuts, airport closures, bulldozing of farms, factories destruction, and construction semi-suspended. They are all results of terrorism which lasted for four full years.

Salam added that we have civilian victims of who were killed or slaughtered in addition to the martyrs of the police and army officers. There are official documents which condemn Qatar in the crimes of terrorism in Sinai. Lawsuits must be raised to compensate those who were harmed because of these terrorist operations. Official powers of attorney will be drawn to file lawsuits similar to Lockerbie to compensate the victims for some of what they lost.

Sheikh Issa Al-Kharvin, one of the victims of the terrorist operations, is the sheikh of Sinai and one of the warriors who performed their duty during the period of occupation, pointed out that he participated in the wars of 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973. After the liberation of Sinai, he was member in the People’s Assembly for four times. He said that during the Israeli occupation of Sinai, the Zionist enemy sought to internationalize the issue, pointing out that we as Egyptians do not benefit from this road and did not choose another way as we are an integral part of this homeland and we live because of the blood of the homeland`s martyrs .

Al-Kharvin added that he welcomed the issue of legal support of the terrorist operations victims as it benefits the families and children of the martyrs. He praised the performance of the armed forces in the fight against terrorism, and that the terrorist operations will not diminish the will of the Egyptians but will increase their steadfastness, adding that the people of Sinai will be more helpful to the armed forces. He is surprised by those who fund the terrorists and media which support them, he wondered: is Qatar entitled to support terrorism, while it is an Arab country signatory to the Convention on suppressing Terrorism.

Journalist Nader Shukri, terrorism expert, praised the role of the organization in supporting human rights issues, including the rights of the victims. He pointed out that the Copts since 25 January 2011 and especially after 30 June 2013 and beginning from 14 August, the date of the dismantling of the Rabaa El-Adaweya and Nahda`s sit-ins, churches and monasteries are being targeted. In addition to targeting Copts in Rafah, they were forced to leave their homes in Rafah and Sheikh Zuwaid. Twenty-four Christians from Minya were massacred by a group of ISIS and three threatening videos of the Copts were broadcasted, as well as the incident of the Coptic Church, which resulted in the deaths of 20 martyrs and Anbaa Samuel massacre which resulted in death of 23 about 10 of them are children.

Shukri added that targeting the Copts is not only for the Copts but it is targeting the Egyptian state. As orders were issued to suspend all activities and trips to churches so that they would not be exposed to the danger of terrorism, adding that there is a feeling that the Copts are being targeted.

In the end of the conference, the participants agreed on a number of recommendations as follows:-

1- The need to confront and combat terrorism as the battle of all humanity and as a phenomenon affecting all nations and peoples and affecting international peace and security.

  1. Formation of a committee of experts based in the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights and the Arab Federation for Human Rights. This committee will provide legal support to the victims of terrorism, coordination to collect official powers of attorney from the families of the victims and escalate complaints before the International Court, as in the Lockerbie case, relying on legal bases to compensate the martyrs’ families for what they lost.
  2. Forming an information committee to support the demands of victims of terrorist operations.
  3. Issuing a procedural law on the value of compensation for victims and founding a fund dedicated to executing the judgments of compensation for victims of terrorism.
  4. Accountability of the countries that support terrorism such as Qatar and withdraw its membership from the International Counter-Terrorism Committee in the UN Security Council until it is held accountable.
  5. To call upon the Arab States ratifying the Arab Convention against Terrorism to ratify the amendment to article 1, clause 3, of the Convention on the definition of terrorist crime, which was approved by the Council of Arab Ministers of Justice, resolution No. 649-D.22 -29/11/2006, Council of Arab Ministers of Interior, resolution No. 529-D 25-30 -31/1/2008 where (( Inciting or praising terrorist crimes and publishing, printing or preparing editorials or publications or recordings of any kind for distribution or to inform others in order to encourage committing such crimes is considered a terrorist crime)) was added to the criminal offenses mentioned in this paragraph. This amendment was executed in implementation of the decision of Council of the League at the summit level in Beirut No. 231 – Arab Summit No.(14) – 28 March 2002, which is in line with Security Council resolution No. 1624 (2005) on the issue of criminalizing incitement to terrorism.
  6. Submit a formal complaint to the Security Council to present the dispute.
  7. Request the Security Council to establish a definition of the victims of terrorism and to commit States to this definition.
  8. Request the Security Council to impose measures under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations on the State of Qatar, similar to resolution No. 1992 (1998) adopted at the Security Council at its 3920th session held on 27 August 1998.
  9. Request the Security Council to compel states that support terrorism to pay compensation to victims of terrorism similar to victims of Lockerbie.
  10. Request the Security Council to oblige the State which has property or funds belonging to the States that support terrorism to confiscate them.
  11. Request the Security Council to refer criminal offenses to the International Criminal Court in accordance with article 13 / b of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
  12. Appeal to the International Court of Justice to file a lawsuit and demand compensation for the victims of these crimes in the amount of $ 10 million for each victim.
  13. Formation of a team of lawyers, Egyptians, Arabs and foreigners to take legal action before international courts on convicting the perpetrators of terrorist crimes, holding states responsible for terrorism the responsibility for compensating the victims of terrorist operations and bring officials involved in supporting and facilitating the work of terrorist organizations to justice.
  14. Document terrorist crimes and organizations and states responsible for them or supporting terrorist operations or organizations such as Turkey and Qatar.
  15. Request the League of Arab States to establish a fund to compensate victims of terrorist operations.



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