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Egypt

Egypt has long been an important destination and crossing point for international migrants and asylum seekers in the Mediterranean region. Since the onset of conflicts in Syria and Gaza, the country has also become an important destination for Syrian nationals and Palestinians. Egypt's response to these migration pressures has a times been characterized by violence and arbitrariness. According to unofficial sources, thousands of Africans, many trafficked in the Sinai by Bedouin tribes, have disappeared in recent years, some of whom were later found confined in Egyptian jails. Syrians, who were initially welcomed by Egypt, now find themselves frequently detained in police stations. And Palestinians fleeing the devastation wrought by Israeli bombing have reportedly been shot at and arrested by police as they attempt to leave Egyptian shores in smuggling boats heading for Europe. The legal status of detainees is often unclear as they shift between criminal and administrative forms of custody. The Global Detention Project estimates that nearly 60 detention facilities, nearly all of them either prisons or police cells, have been used in recent years for immigration-related detention.

Egypt Quick Facts

  • Immigration detainees:
    1500
    International migrants:
    600000
    New asylum applications :
    5499