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Startseite Urgent Actions 2021 10 Two Eritreans risk deportation from Egypt Stop deportation of five Eritreans from Egypt
FI 103/21-1
Egypt / (Eritrea) →
Aktiv seit 16. Dezember 2021 | Noch 3 Tage Laufzeit

Stop deportation of five Eritreans from Egypt

AI-Index: MDE 12/5111/2021

Three Eritrean nationals, Mohamed Nour Ammar, Samar Mohamed Nour Ammar and Salem Tawlidi Adhanom, have been arbitrarily detained in Egypt without legal basis or access to asylum procedures since 2019. They are facing forced return to Eritrea, where they are at real risk of persecution. Since 31 October, the Egyptian authorities have deported at least 15 Eritreans. The authorities must immediately halt any plans to deport the three individuals and other Eritreans arbitrarily detained in Egypt and grant them access to asylum procedures.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Egyptian authorities arrested 18 Eritrean nationals, including children and infants, on 24 October 2019 while they were trying to enter Egypt from Sudan through an irregular border crossing. They were detained at al-Qusayr police station since December 2019. On 18 December 2019, Egyptian security forces transferred the group to the Eritrean embassy in Cairo without their consent and despite their well-founded fears of being targeted by the Eritrean authorities. The Eritrean embassy issued passports for 15 of them. Between 31 October and 18 November, the Egyptian authorities deported the 15 Eritreans who were issued with passports. Mohamed Nour Ammar, Samar Mohamed Nour Ammar and Salem Tawlidi Adhanom remain held at al-Qusayr police station, apparently because the Eritrean embassy has not delivered their passports yet halting the deportation procedure.

On 30 October, eight members of the group, namely: Hamed Adam Ali, Entesar Hamed Adam, Neama Hamed Adam, Saed Hamed Adem, Mussa Hamed Adam, Sadia Hamed Adam and her sons Kamal Adam Ali and Fares Adam Ali, three and five years old respectively, were taken from al-Qusayr police station to the city of Safaga for Covid-19 vaccines and PCR tests. They were then transferred to Cairo in preparation of their deportation, which took place on 31 October. On 17 November, similar procedures were taken in relation to seven other members of the family including five children namely: Khadija Idriss Abdallah, Najet Hamed Adam Ali, 16-year-old Jamila Hamed Adam Ali, 14-year-old Thawria Hamed Adam Ali, 10-year-old Manal Ahmed Othman, six-year-old Erij Ahmed Othman and four-year-old Samer Ahmed Othman.

Prior to their deportation, authorities denied them access to adequate medical care or sufficient food including for the children. They also failed to provide them with access to interpreters, even though they did not speak Arabic. They were denied the right to legal representation, not brought in front of any judicial body and held without charge or trial. The authorities also prevented them from submitting requests for registration with the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Informed sources told Amnesty International that officials told the group that they were not permitted to do so while detained. Their families tried registering them but said no response from the UNHCR was received.

The 18 fled Eritrea to escape indefinite military conscription, one of the main drivers compelling people to flee Eritrea. According to a 2016 Amnesty International report, deserters are likely to face prolonged arbitrary detention, inhumane detentions conditions, torture and other ill-treatment. Their forced return to Eritrea violates the principle of non-refoulement, which under international human rights law, guarantees that no one should be returned to a country where they would face torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and other irreparable harm.

According to an Egyptian refugee rights' organization, at least 49 other Eritreans are at risk of deportation after being arbitrarily detained in 2021 for irregularly entering Egypt. In December 2021, they were forcibly transferred to the Eritrean embassy in Cairo to issue their passports as a prelude to their deportation.

Take action

  • Write an appeal in your own words or use the model letter below.

  • Take action on Social media: Infos see the yellow field on the right.

  • Please take action before 10 February 2022.

  • Preferred language: English and Arabic. You can also write in your own language.

Model letter

Dear Minister,

I write to express my concern about the authorities' plans to deport Mohamed Nour Ammar, Samar Mohamed Nour Ammar and Salem Tawlidi Adhanom, three Eritrean nationals who are arbitrarily detained at al-Qusayr police station, Red Sea governorate. The three were part of a group of 18 Eritreans from the same family, who were arrested on 24 October 2019 at the Egyptian-Sudanese border. Egyptian authorities deported eight of them on 31 October and seven on 18 November. The 18 individuals were denied their right to legal representation and access to asylum procedures and were held without any legal basis. They were held in cruel and inhuman conditions, crammed into narrow cells and denied exercise or access to sunlight. The authorities did not provide them with any clothes or items for personal hygiene including sanitary napkins for women and girls. Their families were only able to visit them four times during their two years of detention.

In a statement issued on 19 November, UN human rights experts condemned Egypt’s deportation of the Eritreans without any due process and expressed concern about the disappearance of the eight Eritreans expelled in 0ctober, noting that those returned «are often detained upon arrival to Eritrea, questioned, tortured, held in extremely punitive conditions and disappeared». Amnesty International understands that Mohamed Nour Ammar, Samar Mohamed Nour Ammar and Salem Tawlidi Adhanom have not yet been deported due to lack of travel documents.

In October, the authorities halted their plans to deport Alem Tesfay Abraham and Kibrom Adhanom Okbazghi, two other Eritrean nationals who have been arbitrarily detained for more than seven years at al-Qanatar Prison for men, north of Cairo. However, they have travel documents and risk deportation at any time.

I urge you to immediately halt the deportation of Mohamed Nour Ammar, Samar Mohamed Nour Ammar, Salem Tawlidi Adhanom, Alem Tesfay Abraham and Kibrom Adhanom Okbazghi, release them and grant them access to asylum procedures. Pending their release, ensure that they are held in conditions meeting international standards on the treatment of prisoners. I also urge you to end the deportation of all Eritreans without access to asylum procedures as it violates the principle of non-refoulement.

Yours sincerely,

 

Appeals to

Minister of Interior Mahmoud Tawfiq
Ministry of Interior
25, El Sheikh Rihan Street
Bab al-Louk
Cairo
Egypt

Fax: +202 2794 5529
Email: center@iscmi.gov.eg ; E.HumanRightsSector@moi.gov.eg
Twitter: @moiegy

 

Additional targets

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Office of the President
Al Ittihadia Palace
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax +202 2391 1441
Email: p.spokesman@op.gov.eg
Twitter: @AlsisiOfficial

Alaa Roshdy
Deputy Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Human Rights
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Corniche el-Nile, Cairo, Egypt.
Fax: +202 2574 9713
Email: contact.us@mfa.gov.eg
Twitter: @MfaEgypt

 

Copies to

Ambassade de la République Arabe d'Egypte
Elfenauweg 61
3006 Berne

Fax: 031 352 06 25
E-mail: egypt.embassy.berne@gmail.com

 

→ Letter delivery to other countries - General info:
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Please check
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If not, we ask you to use other communication channels (email, fax or social media, if available) for the delivery of your appeal and/or send it via the embassy with the request for forwarding to the named person.

Social media guide

Targets:

Ministry of Interior:
Twitter: @moiegy

President Abdelfattah al-Sisi:
@AlsisiOfficial

Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
@MfaEgypt

 

Suggested Tweet:

After deporting 15 Eritreans, including children, since October - in breach of international law #Egypt authorities are now planning the forced return of five others to Eritrea where they face persecution. Call on the Minister of Interior @moiegy to halt their unlawful deportation NOW [Link to UA: Stop deportation of five Eritreans from Egypt]

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