CAIRO: Killings on Egypt’s border with Israel are currently at their highest since September 2009, Amnesty International said this week.
“The killings are a stark reminder that, despite repeated warnings by Amnesty International and other organizations, Egypt’s security forces have still not been given adequate instructions or training to conduct border policing, the London-based rights group said in a statement issued Friday.
Four people were shot dead by Egyptian border guards as they attempted to cross into Israel, bringing the total number of fatalities so far this year to five.
The use of deadly force began in mid-2007. Amnesty suggests that this use of force “may result partly from pressure from the Israeli authorities on the Egyptian government to reduce the flow of people crossing the border into its territory without authorization.
Amnesty condemns the failure to open investigations into the killings, maintaining that Egypt is in breach of its obligation to conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into all cases of suspicious deaths in custody or at the hands of state agents.
In its statement, Amnesty quotes Egyptian authorities as saying in a statement issued in September 2009 that the policing of the border demonstrates Egypt’s “respect to [sic] the international law and international commitments.
“While Egypt’s security forces are charged with maintaining border security in difficult circumstances, it remains the duty of the Egyptian authorities to ensure that their forces respect the right to life, adhere to international standards and uphold international human rights law, Amnesty says.