First Published: 2013-01-19

 

Rights group urges Egypt to halt deportations to Syria

 

Egypt government unlawfully expels two Syrians back to war-ravaged country; two Palestinians from Syria now risk being deported.

 

Middle East Online

More than 13,000 Syrian refugees in Egypt

BEIRUT - Egypt government unlawfully expelled two Syrian refugees back to the war-ravaged country last week, and two Palestinians from Syria now risk being deported, the watchdog Human Rights Watch said on Saturday.

A Palestinian man and his son currently being held at Cairo airport were apparently refused entry to Egypt and would face "indiscriminate violence and possible persecution if returned to Syria," the New York-based group said.

"Egypt may have a right to detain people temporarily or investigate them on grounds of false documentation, but it may not under any circumstance return them to Syria," said Bill Frelick, Refugee Programme director at HRW.

"Egypt is obligated under international law not to return anyone, regardless of status, to a place where they would be persecuted."

Cairo airport officials deported two Syrians to Damascus on January 13 in violation of Egypt's obligations, although both had arrived in Egypt with valid passports the day before, the watchdog said.

Another attempted deportation of 13 Syrians in mid-December was stopped by immigration officials at the last minute.

The men had been in prison and were slated for deportation, but were released after their lawyer and the UNHCR intervened.

Human Rights Watch said that while Egypt has provided a safe haven for more than 13,000 Syrian refugees, recent cases raise concerns that others may be at risk of deportation.

"At a time of great conflict and tragedy in Syria, we call on Egypt and all countries not to return any residents of Syria, including Palestinians, to Syria," Frelick said.

 

Libya to investigate 'slave auction' footage

Iraq top court declares Kurd referendum unconstitutional

Saudi Arabia, Arab allies push for unity against Iran, Hezbollah meddling

15 women killed in food aid crush in Morocco

Rare moments of joy at Arabs’ unprecedented World Cup qualifications

UN chief horrified by Libya slave auctions

Qatar 2022 chief has no regrets over hosting World Cup

Gheit says Lebanon should be 'spared' from regional tensions

Syria ‘de-escalation zone’ does nothing to stop civilian deaths

Is a demilitarised Palestinian state a viable option?

S&P affirms good Saudi credit ratings

Israel president faces big backlash over Palestinian scarf

Sudan leader to visit Russia Thursday

Seven years into Libya’s civil war, the chaos continues

Lebanon FM will not attend Arab League Iran summit

Syrian forces liberate Albu Kamal from IS

Israel votes to shut migrant centre, deport Africans

Diplomats from Iran, Russia, Turkey discuss Syria

Libya to investigate ‘slave auction’ footage

Piece by piece, Iran moves towards a ‘new empire’

Netanyahu faces new questioning over corruption case

Syria troops, allies retake most of Albu Kamal from IS

EU cuts funding to Turkey in 2018 budget

Lebanon's Hariri arrives in Paris

Egypt opens Gaza border for first time since unity deal

US-Russia rift threatens fragile prospects for Syria peace

'Caliphate' in tatters but IS still a threat

Saudi Arabia recalls ambassador to Berlin over Gabriel Lebanon comments

Russia again vetoes renewal of Syria gas attacks probe

UN weighs bid to save Syria gas attacks probe

IS attack kills 26 displaced people in Syria

Saudi FM says Lebanon 'held hostage by Hezbollah'

Egypt to open Rafah crossing for 3 days

Turkish troops pulled from NATO drill amid new tensions

Six children among civilians killed in shelling of Eastern Ghouta

US official calls on Sudan to stop 'church demolitions'

Hariri set to leave Saudi Arabia for France

Fears of bombs, IS cells still haunt Mosul

Iraq retakes Rawa, last town held by IS

Riyadh striking deals with people detained in anti-graft purge

Iran criticises French Mideast policy

Russia again blocks UN resolution on Syria action

Israel military chief says ready to cooperate with Saudi Arabia

Egypt confirms death of wanted jihadist

UK denies link between citizen detained in Iran and £400m debt