The Intercept website has published a detailed report regarding the outcomes of the US-backed war on terror in Egypt, focusing on forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings.
The investigation, published on 11 November, featured the case study of a school teacher in governate in the Egyptian countryside who was abducted from his school. His family and friends could not contact him, and a month later it was announced he had been killed during counterterrorism raids.
Now, the relatives of the disappeared live in fear of Facebook statements from the interior ministry featuring the words, “During a security raid, assailants opened fire, and the security personnel responded in kind, killing them all.”
Just the names, dates and sometimes places get changed in these statements, but never the result. The statements rarely note the death or injury of police officers – only alleged terrorists get killed and injured during the raids.
Usually, when any attacks on Egyptian forces take place, a disappeared victim will be charged even if they were not free at the time of the incident.
“Extrajudicial execution has become a trend since the assassination of former public prosecutor Hisham Barakat in June 2015,” an Amnesty representative said.
Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced that he would depend on “executive justice” because the normal judiciary procedures take too long in cases of terrorism.
Since then, the rate of extrajudicial killings escalated, at the expense of human rights and rule of law.
Forced disappearances have become normal procedure prior to detention, as most detainees stay disappeared for a while before they appear in prosecution sessions.
Usually, when security forces intend to send someone to be detained, rather than executed, an anonymous person calls from national security demanding the relatives of the disappeared illegally pay money through lawyers close to the national security officers.
This payment is essentially a bribe to set them free. When relatives pay the money, their relatives are still rarely freed.
The report also mentions the Hassm and Liwa Al Thawra groups, which the executed people were accused of belonging to.
Hassm and Liwa Al Thawra are said to be related to the Muslim Brotherhood, most of the leaders of which claim to oppose use of violence.
Hassm and Liwa Al Thawra claimed responsibility for a number of operations in Egypt, starting with the assassination of the former public prosecutor Hisham Barakat. They also claim responsibility for the assassination attempt on assistant prosecutor Zakaria Abdul-Abdulziz.
Some 170 people are thought dead as a result of extrajudicial killing operations in Egypt since 4 November 2016. 110 of them were killed this year.
The US supports Egypt with almost $1 billion annually for its “war on terrorism”, and also supplies political backing.
In 2014, top Egyptian officials addressed the US administration to announce that the Muslim Brotherhood was an international terrorist group. A bill was prepared to discuss this, but it was dead in the water after strong opposition from those who feared political problems in countries where Muslim Brotherhood members hold office.