Wednesday, April 26, 2006

AI Condemns Dahab bombing

Amnesty International condemns in the strongest terms the bomb attacks which, according to official reports, killed at least 18 people and injured more than a hundred others in the Red Sea resort of Dahab in the Sinai Peninsula on 24 April.

The explosions targeted a restaurant, a cafeteria and a supermarket. While no responsibility for the blasts has been claimed, the authorities continue to investigate any link between these blasts and attacks which took place in Taba in 2004 and Sharm el-Sheikh last year.

Amnesty International has invariably condemned attacks against civilians. Such attacks can never be justified under any circumstance. To the extent that they are widespread or systematic and are intended to further a policy by a government or an organization, they would be crimes against humanity.

The organization recognizes that the Egyptian government has a positive obligation to protect persons under its jurisdiction, including by preventing and punishing acts of terrorism. However, at the same time, the Egyptian authorities have equally a duty to promote and protect human rights at all times, including while combating terrorism. Concrete steps must be taken by the concerned authorities to ensure that suspects are not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment and are afforded all fair trial guarantees. Anyone convicted for such attacks should not be sentenced to death.

Amnesty International calls on the Egyptian authorities not to engage again in arbitrary arrests and detentions, as well as torture and other ill-treatment, as was the case after the bombings in Taba and Sharm el-Sheikh. The bombings in Dahab must not be used to justify any human rights violations by the Egyptian authorities.

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