Thursday, November 10, 2011

Eritrean Refugees Face Imminent Repatriation from Egypt and High Risk of Persecution on Return

By Michael Ireland
Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

ASWAN, EGYPT (ANS) -- A group of 118 Eritrean refugees are facing deportation from a detention center in Aswan, Egypt, either today or tomorrow, (Nov. 9 or 10) according to Italian NGO Agenzia Habeshia, after detention center officials issued notifications of imminent deportation in the past week.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW)  says that while all the refugees risk severe persecution if returned to Eritrea, ten of them occupied key positions within the Eritrean regime before they fled the country, and their lives would be in extreme danger should they be returned.

According to Agenzia Habeshia, some of the men in the group were badly beaten about a week ago, and have now received medical attention, CSW said.

In a media update, CSW says the continuing exodus of Eritrean citizens from their country, conservatively estimated at 1,000 people per month, is testament to the on-going human rights crisis in the country.

CSW explained that those who escape Eritrea generally receive inadequate protection from neighboring African countries. Hundreds of Eritrean refugees, including many women and children, continue to be held hostage by human traffickers in camps in the Sinai Desert. There they face harassment, sexual abuse and torture until their relatives make an exorbitant payment to the captors to secure their release. A recent CNN report confirmed that many have had organs removed from their bodies for sale, before being left to die.

CSW Advocacy Director Andrew Johnston said, “CSW joins Agenzia Habeshia in calling for swift action from the international community to halt the imminent deportation of the Eritrean refugees in Aswan. The Egyptian government must be urged to take seriously its duty to protect vulnerable refugees and end these deportations, which violate the 1951 UN Refugee Convention to which Egypt is party.

“Moreover, it is appalling that nearly a year after the Sinai hostage camps were brought to light, these camps continue to exist. The trafficking of human organs for profit and the inhumane treatment of these refugees amounts to murder and is an affront to humanity. We urge the Egyptian authorities to act decisively to combat the rampant human trafficking within their borders, and to ensure that perpetrators of atrocities are brought to justice.”

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is a Christian organization working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.

For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Kiri Kankhwende, Press Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide on +44 (0)20 8329 0045 / +44 (0) 78 2332 9663,  or visit .

** Michael Ireland is Senior Correspondent for ANS. He is an international British freelance journalist who was formerly a reporter with a London (United Kingdom) newspaper and has been a frequent contributor to UCB UK, a British Christian radio station. While in the UK, Michael traveled to Canada and the United States, Albania,Yugoslavia, Holland, Germany,and Czechoslovakia. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China,and Russia. Michael's volunteer involvement with ASSIST News Service is a sponsored ministry department -- 'Michael Ireland Media Missionary' (MIMM) -- of A.C.T. International of P.O.Box 1649, Brentwood, TN 37024-1649, at: Artists in Christian Testimony (A.C.T.) International where you can make a donation online under 'Donate' tab, then look for 'Michael Ireland Media Missionary' under 'Donation Category' to support his stated mission of 'Truth Through Christian Journalism.' Michael is a member in good standing of the National Writers Union, Society of Professional Journalists, Religion Newswriters Association, Evangelical Press Association and International Press Association. If you have a news or feature story idea for Michael, please contact him at: ANS Senior Reporter

No comments:

Post a Comment