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Criminal Justice | ECESR Sues State for Illegal Detention of 500 Syrian Refugees in Alexandria

ECESR Files a Lawsuit Against the President of the Republic and the Interior and Exterior Minister for the National Security’s Detention of 500 Syrian Refugees in Alexandria and their Imminent Deportation

Lawyers from the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) – Alexandria Branch filed two lawsuits (No.77576 and 77578 of Judicial Year 67) at the State Council Administrative Court against the President of the Republic and the Ministers of Interior and Exterior. The suit called for revoking the decision by National Security to deport around 500 detained Syrian refugees, whom the Public Prosecutor had decided to release earlier. Yet, to the lawyers’ surprise, they remained under detention awaiting deportation at the Karmouz, al-Muntazah, and Abu Qir police stations, in Alexandria, and Rosetta in al-Beheira, by orders of National Security, in violation of Egypt’s obligations towards the UN Refugee Convention.

ECESR lawyers called for the immediate release the detained refugees, especially since they include several minors and humanitarian situations that require immediate action by competent authorities. According to Egypt’s obligations to the 1951 United Nations Convention on the Status of Refugees, Egyptian authorities do not have the right to detain them without legal reason, expose them to any kind of danger, or deport them back to the conflict areas which they fled.

In light of the UNHCR’s failure, to date, to solve the issue with the Exterior and Interior Ministries, ECESR lawyers took the case to the Administrative Court, seeking a decisive end to this human tragedy. ECESR also calls upon the Egyptian government and all relevant rights organization to intervene quickly to find a solution for this critical humanitarian situation, especially after the recurrence of such behavior on more than one occasion and the unjustified atmosphere of hostility against Syrian refugees in Egypt.

Earlier, Egyptian rights organizations released a statement expressing deep concerns regarding the detention of scores of Syrian and Palestinian refugees carrying Syrian papers in al-Dakhila and al-Gomrok [customs] police stations in Alexandria, although most of them carried valid visas into the country.