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Egypt's Sinai: 'War crimes' being committed, says Human Rights Watch



 Egyptian tanks on a road to Northern Sinai Image copyright
Egypt ministry of defense

Image caption

Egypt has been battling militants in Northern Sinai for years
                

Human Rights Watch (HRW) accuses the government of carrying out enforced disappearances, killings, torture and other illegal acts.

It says militants who have been fighting have kidnapped, tortured and murdered hundreds of Sinai residents.

The two sides have long been battling in the northern part of the peninsula.

The government has declared the Northern Sinai a closed military zone, meaning independent reporting is not possible from there. It has been added to the militants, some of whom are linked to the Islamic State (IS) group, but has denied committing abuses.

According to the HRW report, adults and children as young as 1

2 have been detained and held a secret prisons, sometimes for months at a time.

The documents cases where detainees are said to have been physically abused by soldiers, including beatings and given electric shocks. report cites forms detainees as saying

  • Profile: The IS affiliate in Sinai
  • Who are Egypt's militant groups?

It says that since the conflict escalated in 2013, tens of thousands of residents have been forcibly evicted from their

Media caption Back in January Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi told CBS that Egypt does not have any political prisoners.

] The rep It also accuses the government of carrying out possibly illegal air and ground attacks, which have killed in the unidentified number of civilians. [4] HRW says militants in Sinai also have criminal offenses, including the kidnap, torture and murder of hundreds of residents. The report identifies the IS-linked Sinai Province group as having committed what it calls "horrific crimes"

. ] "Some of the abuses carried out by government forces and the militants," the report says, "are war crimes, and their widespread and systematic nature can amount to crimes against humanity.

" Both war crimes and crimes against humanity are not subject to any statute of limitation, and the laughter could be prosecuted before international tribunals. "Northern Sinai, which is home to about half a million people, became increasingly lawless following the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. [19659007] Mohammed Morsi, two years later, but a large-scale military offensive has failed to crush the militants.


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