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Egypt calls on UN to protect victims of terrorism

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Egypt’s permanent representative to the UN addresses Human Rights Council

Egyptian security forces inspect the site of a powerful car bomb explosion in the Egyptian city of Mansura, North of Cairo, on December 24, 2013. The bombing tore through a police building in Mansura early today, killing at least 14 people, an attack the authorities said was aimed at derailing the country's transition to democracy.   (AFP PHOTO/MAHMOUD KHALED)

Egyptian security forces inspect the site of a powerful car bomb explosion in the Egyptian city of Mansura, North of Cairo, on December 24, 2013.
(AFP PHOTO/MAHMOUD KHALED)

Walid Abdel Nasser, Egypt’s permanent representative to the United Nations’ office in Geneva, delivered on Tuesday a statement to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) calling for an international framework for preserving the rights of victims of terrorism.

The statement was submitted on behalf of 128 HRC member-states, according to a foreign ministry statement. The 128 member-states reportedly included the Islamic, African and Arab blocs, as well as the Non-Aligned Movement.

Nasser called for taking effective measures to protect victims of terrorism and enshrine their human rights through the creation of an international framework which is in line with domestic legislations, procedures and practices.

The permanent representative noted that states should take effective steps, in accordance to international laws, to create criminal legislations which deter incitement to terrorism, as well as plotting and committing terrorist crimes. He added that the states’ responsibility to protect their citizens’ right to life necessitates the existence of such measures.

Nasser also stressed the importance of taking precautionary measures should state institutions obtain knowledge of “real and immediate” threats on the lives of one or more citizens by terrorist groups. He stressed the importance of investigating terrorist acts, and added that victims of terrorism and their families should be notified with the necessary information to allow them to practice their rights within a domestic legal framework.

Egypt has been adopting the rhetoric of waging a “war on terrorism” since the military ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi on 3 July 2013. Morsi’s ouster has been closely followed by a militant insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, targeting security officials. Such attacks have prompted a heavy military presence within the peninsula.

On 25 December, former Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi’s cabinet announced listing Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation, adding that it will be legally accountable under Article 86 of the Egyptian Penal Code.

The decision closely followed an explosion that occurred in the Al-Daqahleya Security Directorate, resulting in the death of 16 people and injury of more than 100.

On 24 January, four bombs went off at four separate locations in Greater Cairo, including the Cairo Security Directorate in Bab Al-Khalq neighbourhood. The four attacks left six people dead.

Sinai-based militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for all the aforementioned attacks.


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