Opinion: Hafez Abu Seada on rights of terrorism victims



Tue, 04 Jul 2017 - 09:40 GMT


Tue, 04 Jul 2017 - 09:40 GMT

Member of National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) Hafez Abu Seada - File Photo

Member of National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) Hafez Abu Seada - File Photo

CAIRO – 4 July 2017: There is no doubt that the continuation of the crimes of terrorism in the region and the world is related to the support provided by certain states, which house these terrorist organizations and provide them with shelter, financial and intelligence support.

In Egypt in particular, there is a generous support for them, which was revealed by the Egyptian security apparatus. It discovered a huge amount of arms and explosives used in car bombs, hand grenades and machine guns. In addition, our Border Guards on our Western borders could seize car convoys carrying weapons and missiles intended to be used in special operations that threaten the lives of thousands of Egyptians.

It is certain that the Egyptian government has information about Qatar’s support for some armed organizations, which conduct operations in Egypt. This is why Egypt added some demands to the list provided by KSA, Bahrain and the UAE, and one of them is cutting support for these organizations and handing over terrorists involved in these operations.

However, the list of demands did not include providing compensation for the victims of terrorist operations in Egypt. We have tens of families whose children passed away in martyrdom or are who were severely injured. If the Egyptian government proves that the governments of certain countries are involved in committing terrorist crimes in Egypt, these countries are then responsible for compensating the victims of these crimes committed by organizations supported by said countries.

The case in point here is the Lockerbie plane, which crashed following a bomb attack in the English capital. Investigations revealed the involvement of two Libyan intelligence officers in the bombing. The home countries of the victims decided to put those responsible for this crime on trial. At the same time, they asked for compensations for the victims’ families, whereby $10 million were actually paid for every family of every passenger killed in the explosion.

The American Congress also passed a law allowing families of victims killed in the September 2001 World Trade Center attack (for which Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility, called the “New York Invasion”) to sue the countries proven to have supported terrorists for compensation. This is known as the JASTA Act, which opens the door to sue KSA. President Barak Obama vetoed the Act, but is now an applicable law.

I believe it is important to take legal action for the sake of victims’ families, to demand compensation from countries against whom the Egyptian state has documents proving their contribution and involvement in committing these crimes, which resulted in damage to the Egyptian families whose children died as victims to terrorism.

Hafez Abu Seada is a human rights lawyer, member of the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) and the head of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR.)

This article was originally published in Arabic on Al-Watan newspaper in parallel with a social media campaign calling for no more tolerance for Qatar's crimes



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