Egypt Detention Profile Long a lightening rod for criticism because of its treatment of migrants, Egypt is undergoing historic political change, the ramifications of which with respect to the rights of immigrants and asylum seekers remains unclear. Egypt’s policy during the last few decades has been to charge unauthorized migrants with criminal violations stemming from their irregular status and then detain them in prisons alongside hardened criminals and in poor and overcrowded conditions. Among the issues that have spurred international condemnation of the country have been its “shoot-to-stop” policy targeting migrants crossing from Egypt to Israel; denying detained migrants access to appeal; mass forced returns of Eritreans, who face persecution in their country; preventing UNHCR and other rights bodies access to detainees; and the indefinite detention of stateless persons and unregistered asylum seekers.
Morocco Detention Profile Traditionally a country of emigration, Morocco is also a key transit country for sub-Saharan migrants seeking passage to Europe. Since the early 2000s, the European Union has pressured–and provided funding to–Morocco to stem the flow of migrants transiting the country. Morocco introduced its first Migration Act in 2003, which provides stringent criminal sanctions for violations. Observers have criticised a number of Moroccan immigration policies and practices, including the lengthy periods of time (in some cases years) foreign nationals are held in administrative detention; the practice of stranding foreign nationals in the desert; detaining vulnerable groups, including pregnant women and children; firing on migrants attempting to cross into the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla; and criminalizing both irregular entry to and exit from the country.