Egypt deports 30 Sudanese refugees

Published on Sunday 1st June 2008

Egypt: Human Rights Watch has called on Egypt to investigate the forced return of Sudanese who had been given official refugee status in the country.


The Washington-based rights organization said that forcible return of refugees is a violation of Egypt's obligations under international law.

According to relatives' accounts of five of the refugees, Egyptian authorities have deported approximately 30 Sudanese boys and men. Eleven of them had been officially recognized by the Cairo office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

One of the deported men called his wife on May 13 and said he is being detained in Kobar prison in southern Sudan and is expected to face trial.

"The United Nations refugee agency had identified some of these men and boys as needing protection because they would face serious risks if sent back to Sudan, yet Egypt deported them anyway," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at HRW.

"Egyptian authorities need to conduct a credible and transparent investigation to determine whether their forced return amounts to serious abuse and ensure such violations never happen again."

Cairo claims that those arrested belonged to Sudanese gangs in neighborhoods across the capital and are responsible for damaging cars during a fight on Feb. 8.

Egypt accused the men and boys of illegally entering Egypt, accusations relatives and friends deny.