Sudan condemning deported Eritreans to ‘certain abuse’
AFP: KHARTOUM — Sudan has condemned more than 300 Eritreans asylum seekers to "certain detention and abuse" by deporting them to one of the "most brutal" countries in the world, a rights group said on
AFP: KHARTOUM — Sudan has condemned more than 300 Eritreans asylum seekers to “certain detention and abuse” by deporting them to one of the “most brutal” countries in the world, a rights group said on Tuesday.
“Sudan is forcibly returning men, women, and children to certain detention and abuse in one of the world?s most brutal places,” said Gerry Simpson, senior refugee researcher at Human Rights Watch, in a statement received by AFP.
“Eritrea, ruled by an extremely repressive government, requires all citizens under 50 to serve in the military for years,” the statement said.
“Anyone of draft age leaving the country without permission is branded a deserter, risking five years in prison, often in inhumane conditions, as well as forced labor and torture,” it added.
Last week, Sudan handed more than 300 Eritreans to the neighbouring country’s military without screening them for refugee status, drawing condemnation from the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).
A spokesman for the UNHCR said the deportation took place despite an agreement between the UN agency and the Sudanese Commissioner for Refugees that the Eritreans would be transferred to Khartoum for joint screening.
The asylum seekers, who had been trying to cross into Egypt, were convicted of illegal entry and movement in Sudan, and returned to their home country after being detained for several weeks in northern Sudan’s Dongola.
“After decades of hosting tens of thousands of Eritreans in eastern Sudan, the authorities have suddenly started to crack down on some of the world?s most vulnerable people,” Simpson said.
In July, one Eritrean asylum seeker died in Sudan and another was left unconscious after jumping from a truck, as they were being deported.