In a revolution for human dignity, social justice, freedoms, and the right to decent living and in light of renewed revolutionary waves against all those who deviate from the objectives of the glorious January 25 Revolution, the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) regrets the continuing violations against the lives of Egyptian citizens living in Sinai, under the pretext of emergency measures.
Despite popular support for the Egyptian army’s efforts against outlawed armed groups, ECESR expresses its deep concern and distress about the killing of Aya al-Sayyid, a 9-year-old girl, and the conflicting statements of the military spokesperson about the incident. The military spokesperson’s account after the incident contradicted eyewitness accounts, then it was removed from the spokesperson’s official Facebook page.
Several eyewitness accounts documented by local journalists indicated that the martyr child, Aya al-Sayyid from al-Rmeilat tribe, was accompanying her father and maternal uncle in a 4×4, right before iftar on the first day of Ramadan. Her father, who was driving, attempted to avoid the army checkpoint in Abu Tawila in Sheikh Zuweid and was shot by soldiers using live bullets, injuring him and killing his daughter. Their car did not open fire at the vehicle of the Second Army Field Commander or anyone else.
To justify the systematic violence long practiced by the State Security Investigations (SSI) against the people of Sinai under the defunct regime and the guise of fighting terrorism, it has become customary to issue similar accusations, such as claiming the child was used as a human shield by the two men and calling them “terrorists” in official statements. This happens without a fair investigation or a court decision from the relevant judicial authority.
While ECESR recognizes the legal right of the armed forces to use armed violence against confirmed threat and assaults, it appeals to Egyptian state institutions that monopolize the legitimate use of violence to be committed to professionalism and the laws and conventions organizing the issue. Other than shooting civilians to death, the checkpoint force has several alternatives based on the will for professional and legal commitment and the general desire to do so.
In this preliminary statement, awaiting the report of the fact-finding investigation of the incident, ECESR calls on the temporary President of the Republic and the General Command of the Armed Forces to be committed to transparency and the declaration of facts, following a fair investigation of the incidents, and to avoid covering up an error through bigger and heavier mistakes.
ECESR also calls for an end to the systematic violence against citizens and a solution to the crisis facing the people of Sinai, who should be treated like all other citizens, accorded all their rights, and should benefit from economic development, which eradicates poverty, unemployment, and intentional isolation and marginalization imposed since the era of the defunct Mubarak regime.
Long Live the People of Egypt Free and Dignified