Child rights council condemns trial of 3 Egyptian children in Israel

The arrest by Israeli authorities of three Egyptian Bedouin children, whom Israel claimed crossed illegally into its territories in July to smuggle goods, has been condemned by the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM).

The children, all under 15, will be tried at the end of August.

Lamiaa Mohsen, secretary general of the NCCM, said that on 21 July it requested that the Foreign Ministry coordinate efforts to notify the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child of any violations of the childrens' rights, particularly since both Egypt and Israel are signatories of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

She said steps should be taken to release them and that trying them is a flagrant violation of child rights.

Mohsen said it is not clear whether the children will receive military or civilian trials, and added that the NCCM is cooperating with the Foreign Ministry to hire rights activists from the Palestinian territories for their defense.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry said Israeli authorities arrested the children while they were smuggling cigarettes and tobacco into Israel.

The Egyptian Embassy in Eilat contacted the Israeli Prisons Authority to ensure the children's basic needs are met and they receive good treatment.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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