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Human Rights Organizations Express Concern Over Detention of Dozens Syrians & Palestinian Refugees

Human Rights Organizations Express Concern Over the Detention of Dozens of Syrians and Palestinian Refugees Holding Syrian Documents in Alexandria

Egyptian organizations signatory to this statement express their deep concern over the detention of dozens of Syrians and Palestinian refugees holding Syrian documents in al-Dakhila and customs police stations in Alexandria, although most of them have visas to enter Egyptian territories.

The coast guard had arrested a group of Syrian and Palestinian families attempting to travel out of the country. The families had fallen victim of fraud by an identified man who deceived them by claiming he could secure their travel by sea to Italy for $4,000 each.

The organizations emphasize their concern regarding the arbitrary measures taken in general against Syrians and Palestinians, who should be treated according to the standards of international human rights law and international conventions on the protection of refugees arriving from conflict zones and prohibits their forced return.

The undersigned draw attention to the inhumane detention situation faced by families held in Alexandria. They are detained–awaiting deportation–in locations that are not prepared for this function.

It should be noted that 34 children are among the detainees, including a child with Down Syndrome. The children and several other detainees are complaining from skin diseases due to the lack of hygiene materials and latrines fit for human use.

The detainees had been brought before the prosecutor and accused of attempted illegal immigration out of the country. The same day, the prosecution issued a decision to release the suspects and send them to the responsible administrative authorities (Passports Department and National Security Sector of the Interior Ministry) to take necessary measures. The Passports and Immigration Department coordinated its efforts with National Security and decided to deport the Syrian nationals either to Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, or Malaysia and the Palestinians either to Rafah or Malaysia.

The undersigned rights organizations demand that authorities exercise their adherence to the standards of international human rights law and international conventions on refugees. They demand the provision of appropriate facilities for holding detainees prior to their deportation and the complete refrain from forcibly returning Syrian refugees to any place or country where their lives or freedoms might be in danger.

Signatories:

  • Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
  • Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
  • Egyptian Children’s Rights Coalition
  • Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement
  • Egyptian Foundation for Advancement of Childhood Conditions
  • Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression
  • Legal Assistance Group for Human Rights
  • Andalus Institute for Tolerance and anti-Violence Studies
  • Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights
  • Hisham Mubarak Law Center
  • Egyptians Against Religious Discrimination
  • Nazra for Feminist Studies