IGOHR Denounces Terrorist Attack on Religious Minority Group in Egypt

IGOHR Denounces Terrorist Attack on Religious Minority Group in Egypt 19 December 2016

The International Gulf Organization for Human Rights (IGOHR) condemns in its strongest terms the bomb explosion that targeted a religious minority group in Cairo, Egypt. The incident took place during the morning hours of Sunday as fellow worshipers gathered at their place of worship in the capital. The terrorist explosion killed about 25 persons and injured more than 49 others. The majority of the victims are believed to be women and children. No one has claimed responsibility of the attack but it is thought to be members of various terrorist groups who have waged vicious and continuous harassment against religious minority groups.

IGOHR strongly condemns these suicide bomb attacks and views it as a means used by terrorist groups to implant fear in the hearts of peaceful citizens and endangering their security. IGOHR also stresses that this act is a direct violation of international and regional human rights laws which may amount to crimes against humanity. The 1997 International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings describes anybody as committing a terrorist offense if he/she unlawfully and intentionally use of explosives in public places with intention to kill, to injure, or to cause extensive destruction to compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing some act. The convention equally urges its member states to take measures to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of such terrorist acts. Also, the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property prohibits attacks of any kind intentionally directed against buildings dedicated to religion and equally calls for imposing penal or disciplinary sanctions on persons who violate this law.

Since the toppling of Hosni Mubarak’s regime in 2011, various religious groups have faced an increase in violence and persecution from several terrorist groups. Dozens have been killed in sectarian clashes. Militant groups have stepped up violent and criminal activities in different parts of the country. Mosques and other places of worships as well as sport stadiums have been vandalized or suffer bomb attacks. Citizens live in constant fear of their lives.

Therefore, IGOHR calls on Egyptian authorities to promptly investigate the recent terrorist bombings and to bring to justice those responsible for the attacks. IGOHR strongly urges the Egyptian government to uphold its obligations under international law to step up security measures to ensure the protection of women and children against terrorist attacks in the country. IGOHR also calls on the UN, all regional and international organizations and institutions to work jointly and swiftly as well as security expertise to tackle the unending acts of terrorism and activities of terrorist organizations in MENA.

IGOHR further appeals to all religious groups, civil society organizations, human rights NGOs, social and political activities in Egypt to safeguard the peace, stability and security in the country. They need to respect the dignity and acceptance of others’ irrespective of their race, religion social status or tribe. IGOHR equally extends its sincere sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed, those injured, the Egyptian government as well as to the entire Egyptian society.