Video shows Egyptian soldiers 'executing' Sinai detainees

Video shows Egyptian soldiers 'executing' Sinai detainees
3 min read
21 April, 2017
Leaked footage has shown Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai allegedly shooting dead unarmed, blindfolded detainees at point-blank range.
[Screen grab/Mekameleen TV]
Shocking video footage has emerged appearing to show Egyptian soldiers executing unarmed, blindfolded detainees in the Sinai Peninsula.

The video, broadcast late Thursday by Muslim Brotherhood affiliated channel Mekameleen TV allegedly exposes long-suspected extrajudicial killings being carried out by the Egyptian military in the troubled Sinai province.

The footage is said to show two blindfolded detainees being taken from an army vehicle and led to different locations during a military operation in the North Sinai region.

Both men are then made to kneel and shot multiple times, with their blindfolds removed just before being shot.

One soldier is heard shouting "not just the head" as the victim is riddled with bullets. Another detainee is brutally interrogated by a soldier, who grabs him by the hair and demands to know if he is from the Abu Sanana family.

He replies "no" and the man then asks where his grandfather lives. After saying "al-Naameeyah" he is led away, kicked to the ground, and summarily executed by two soldiers who fire multiple rounds into his body.

At one point, another soldier is seen removing a weapon placed next to one of the victims' bodies after an accompanying cameraman has finished filming. During the clip, at least three other dead bodies can be seen.

The footage appears to show an army operation which took place in December 2016. A Facebook post by Egypt's military spokesman on that day said that eight "terrorists" were killed during that operation, while four alleged collaborators were detained.

Several photos of the victims were included in the post, and appear similar to the men depicted in the leaked video.

Egyptian news site Youm7, considered to be sympathetic to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, called the video a fabrication by the Muslim Brotherhood. The site claimed the soldiers in the video did not have Egyptian accents and questioned their military appearence as suspect.

The New Arab could not independently verify the authenticity of the video.

In March, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Egyptian security forces may have extrajudicially executed as many as ten people during Sinai military operations in January.

"The security forces may have arbitrarily detained and forcibly disappeared the men and then staged a counterterrorism raid to cover up the killings," HRW said.

According to the group, such killings fit a "pattern of abuse" against civilians by Egypt's military in its campaign against IS-affiliated militants. It is the largest deployment of Egyptian forces since the 1973 war with Israel.

"These apparent extrajudicial killings reveal total impunity for Egypt's security forces in the Sinai Peninsula under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's counter-terrorism policies," HRW's deputy Middle East and North Africa director Joe Stork said.

Egypt has been battling a growing Islamist insurgency since the military overthrow of Islamist President Mohamad Morsi in 2013.

Most of the attacks, which have killed hundreds of police officers and troops, have taken place in northern Sinai, which borders Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip, though attacks have reached Cairo.