Urgent Appeal on the Detention and Refoulement of Sudanese Refugees in Egypt

With the escalating conflict in Sudan between the Sudanese army and opposition paramilitary forces entering its twelfth month, the humanitarian crisis in the country continues to deteriorate, with important spill-over effects into neighbouring Egypt. As large numbers of Sudanese refugees have entered Egypt, Egyptian authorities have responded by ramping up arrests, arbitrary detentions, pushbacks, and refoulements, in breach of Egypt’s obligations under international refugee law and its international human rights commitments. Critically, these violations are occurring at a time of increased support from the European Union aimed at boosting Egypt’s migration management operations, which raises concerns about Europe’s potential culpability in abuses committed against vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers in the region.

In an urgent appeal, the GDP and the Committee for Justice have called on the European Commission and Parliamentary Members, UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture, UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and International Organisation for Migration to immediately address the situation. In particular, we urge them to consider calling on Egypt to:

  • Cease de facto and arbitrary detention operations in border regions;
  • End immigration detention for children and their families;
  • Ensure that detainees are able to challenge the grounds of their detention before a court or other competent, independent, and impartial authority, and are provided access to legal aid;
  • Remove visa requirements for those fleeing the conflict in Sudan;
  • Suspend all deportations to Sudan;
  • Establish procedures that guarantee access to fair and efficient asylum proceedings for all those who are in Egyptian territory and claim asylum;
  • Suspend the enforcement of penalties on refugees coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened on account of their illegal entry or presence in Egypt;
  • Grant access to UNHCR and humanitarian organisations to border areas where large influxes of refugees are occurring and guarantee the right to access detention centre for independent institutions;
  • Provide data on immigration detention and deportations to ensure transparency and accountability.