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Friday, September 07, 2012

Those Egyptian checkpoints in the Sinai

From Egypt Independent:
Anonymous gunmen attacked the Rayesa checkpoint outside Arish in Sinai on Friday morning, the 34th such attack in the last 19 months.

Security forces exchanged fire with the assailants, who fled. There were no injuries.

The troops combed the surrounding areas, in addition to inspecting the passing cars and questioning their occupants.

Rayesa checkpoint has been attacked 34 times since the beginning of the 25 January revolution, most recently on 31 August.

The checkpoint is located on the international road leading to Rafah at the east entrance of Arish. It is manned by joint forces of the police and Armed Forces.

A number of checkpoints in Sinai were targeted in August. Egyptian authorities have speculated that radical groups are behind these attacks.
Checkpoints? You mean, where the military checks to make sure that people aren't transporting weapons and explosives?

Aren't they, like, violations of international humanitarian law or UN resolutions or something?

I was so sure that checkpoints are illegal and immoral. Terrorists must have the right to freely travel to their intended targets.  It's a human right. And people being forced to add extra minutes to their trips in order for their cars to be checked for guns and explosives is a heinous crime. I know I've read that somewhere.

Ah - here's one place, lightly edited:
Checkpoints: A Violation of Human Rights
Sky McLaughlin

...The very concept of the checkpoint itself stands in gross violation of the human rights of the people. Each human being should be guaranteed the right to emotional and psychological health and security. However the symbolism of these checkpoints has severe psychological repercussions on the people. The implication is that citizens are entirely too dangerous and evil to be allowed the freedom of movement in their own country, or their neighbour’s. The damaging impacts on the psyche, not to mention self-esteem, particularly of young people, are tremendous.

Freedom of movement and the right to physical safety are just two of the fundamental human rights violated by the checkpoints. People are not free to travel from region to region in their own country, and this has far-reaching effects on the relations of the family. Families are split and divided, and cannot join together to provide emotional support and comfort during this time of tragedy and suffering. Fear has become a permanent part of their psyche, as they constantly worry about the time when there may be an emergency in their family, whom they cannot reach in time.
See? I knew that human rights activists were against all checkpoints, everywhere.

Good thing those activists in Egypt are attacking them by gunfire. They are the true human rights defenders.