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UN experts deplore Egypt’s expulsion of Eritrean family seeking asylum in violation of the principle of non-refoulement

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 UN experts deplore Egypt s expulsion of Eritrean family seeking asylum in violation of the principle of non refoulement
UN experts deplore Egypt’s expulsion of Eritrean family seeking asylum in violation of the principle of non-refoulement

1 We urge the Egyptian government to immediately end the deportation of the three Eritrean asylum seekers who remain in detention

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2 GENEVA, Switzerland, November 19, 2021 / APO Group / –

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3 UN human rights experts have expressed deep concerns over the forced return of seven Eritrean asylum seekers today, including five children, from Egypt, despite the risk of enforced disappearance, torture and ill-treatment, and in violation of international human rights obligations.

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5 “People who fled Eritrea and are then forcibly returned are considered ‘traitors’ and are often detained upon arrival in Eritrea, interrogated, tortured, detained under extremely punitive conditions and have disappeared,” said the experts.

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7 The asylum seekers were part of a larger group of 18 Eritreans – all members of the same family – who entered Egypt through Sudan in October 2019 and have been detained in Egypt since then. They were denied access to legal representation, the asylum system and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

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9 “We are concerned that instead of being granted protection, this group of asylum seekers has been subjected to what appears to be arbitrary detention for more than two years, and forcibly returned to Eritrea without any assessment. individual human rights violations to which they may be subjected. on their return, ”said UN experts.

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11 “Any repatriation process without full respect for procedural guarantees, including an individual risk assessment, violates the absolute prohibition of refoulement under international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law,” said they stated.

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13 Eight other family members were returned to Eritrea on October 30. They have not been seen since and are said to be held incommunicado. “We are gravely concerned about the disappearance of eight Eritrean nationals who were forcibly returned from Egypt earlier this month,” the experts said. “We call on the Eritrean authorities to provide information on their fate and to release them immediately. ”

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15 Three other family members are still detained in Egypt and also face imminent forced repatriation to Eritrea. “This family fled Eritrea because they feared that young family members, including children, would be subjected to indefinite forced conscription. Indeterminate national service in Eritrea is linked to serious human rights violations, including forced labor, torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, and sexual violence.

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17 “In this case, the circumstances strongly indicated that there could be significant risks for this family in the event of return to the country of origin, which should have been properly assessed and taken into account by the Egyptian authorities. If this group of Eritreans suffers human rights violations upon their return to Eritrea, Egypt will be complicit.

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19 “We urge the Egyptian government to immediately end the deportation of the three Eritrean asylum seekers who remain in detention and to review its policy of deporting Eritrean nationals without carrying out any risk assessment, and despite the significant risks of arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture and ill-treatment in Eritrea, ”the experts said. “We call on Eritrea to respect the rights of Eritrean returnees and immediately release this family, as well as all other returned Eritrean asylum seekers who are arbitrarily detained,” they added.

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21 Experts have expressed concerns to the Egyptian government over the forced repatriation of Eritreans.

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