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giovedì 19 giugno 2008

L'Egitto continua il rimpatri forzato degli eritrei, ora sono più di 800

L'Egitto continua il rimpatri forzato degli eritrei
Con il rimpatrio di altri 120 profughi effettuato la notte scorsa, sale a più di 800 il numero di profughi eritrei rimpatriati forzatamente dall'Egitto dall'11 di giugno ad oggi.
Amnesty e la comunità internazionale protestano, ma l'Egitto non si ferma.
In patria li aspettano torture e carcere.
Cosa succederà in Europa ed in Italia dopo la approvazione sulla direttiva di contrasto alla immigrazione?

Egypt deports more Eritreans despite UN objections
Wed 18 Jun 2008, 14:38 GMT

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is continuing large-scale secret deportations of Eritrean asylum seekers despite objections by the U.N. refugee agency, which fears for their safety, Egyptian security sources said on Wednesday. They said a number of Eritreans were taken to Cairo airport in interior ministry vehicles on Tuesday night and put aboard special flights to Eritrea, but could give no further details.

The ongoing deportations are the largest forced returns of asylum seekers from Egypt in decades, and could mark a shift in Egypt's attitude toward tens of thousands of largely African migrants in its territory, activists say. Amnesty International, which says returned Eritreans are at serious risk of torture, said it feared up to 120 asylum seekers had been flown home overnight from Cairo, adding to about 690 other Eritreans who Amnesty says were deported since June 11.

The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, which has been unable to confirm any forced returns, said it was concerned about possible deportations of some of the roughly 1,600 Eritreans who were reported to be in detention in Egypt. "Basically, we have received similar reports from different sources that the deportations were still taking place," UNHCR spokeswoman Abeer Etefa said. The latest deportations would leave nearly 800 Eritreans remaining in Egyptian jails, and Amnesty said the remainder were also at risk of imminent deportation.

An Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment, but the ministry has said Egypt fulfils its international obligations toward refugees. Egyptian security sources told Reuters last week that deportations have occurred and that more were planned. Egypt, facing a surge of Eritrean arrivals in recent months, is under pressure to staunch the flow of African migrants into Israel over its sensitive Sinai desert border, Amnesty says. Police have shot dead 13 migrants at the border this year. Security sources said Egypt suspected the Eritrean detainees planned to smuggle themselves to the Jewish state. Facing rising international pressure over the deportations, Egypt agreed on Sunday to give UNHCR access to the remaining detained Eritreans for the first time since February.

UNHCR said it had been able to visit only about 140 Eritrean asylum seekers and want the deportations to end. "We are concerned because there are serious human rights violations in Eritrea and ... when people are forcibly returned they face detention for long, long periods of time. Months if not years. And they face torture," Etefa said.

Eritreans arriving in Egypt in recent months include Pentecostal Christians fleeing religious persecution and others trying to avoid military conscription, activists say. UNHCR said some Eritreans appeared to have been drawn to Egypt in hope of reaching Israel, but also cited a deteriorating human rights situation in Eritrea. Activists say others had spent time in neighbouring Sudan but no longer felt safe there.

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