Egypt, 118 Eritrean refugees forced under torture to sign repatriation documents
Thursday, November 3, 2011, by EveryOne Group Aswan, November 3, 2011. A humanitarian activist called us this morning from a detention centre in Aswan (Egypt) which is run by the local police force under the authority
Thursday, November 3, 2011, by EveryOne Group
Aswan, November 3, 2011. A humanitarian activist called us this morning from a detention centre in Aswan (Egypt) which is run by the local police force under the authority of the Minister of the Interior.
There are currently about 300 Eritrean refugees being held in the Aswan prison in appalling sanitary conditions and subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment. Most of the refugees have come from the prison camps run by traffickers in northern Sinai, where they have been subjected to torture, beatings and rape.
These refugees are also witnesses of the murders, extortion and atrocities perpetrated by the traffickers against their fellow countrymen. This morning 118 young Catholic Eritrean men were summoned by the prison guards one by one, and asked to sign documents in which they agreed to voluntary repatriation. When the refugees refused, explaining that they would be persecuted in Eritrea – and in many cases murdered – the guards subjected them to torture and beatings, and forced them to sign the papers. The Muslim Eritreans did not suffer the same treatment. The young people who signed the papers are now awaiting deportation. EveryOne Group, the Ngo Gandhi and the network of international organizations for the rights of sub-Saharan refugees have sent an urgent appeal to the Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Egypt and Egyptian embassies to ensure that those responsible for the torture and beatings of the 118 refugees are punished according to the law, and the Eritrean prisoners are offered international protection, as laid out by the Geneva Convention on Refugees.
EveryOne Group, the Ngo Gandhi and the network of NGOs for the rights of refugees have also launched an urgent appeal to the Secretary General of the United Nations, the High Commissioner for Refugees, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, the European Union Commissioner for Human Rights and the international agencies that protect the rights of refugees, to use all their political, legal and humanitarian powers to put a stop to the killing, torture, beatings, unfair detentions and deportations of Eritrean and sub-Saharan refugees.
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