Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CHIRS)
‘Condemning the killing of Sudanese Refugees’
05 January 2006, London, Cairo
SOAT, and CIHRS are appalled and shocked by the indiscriminate attack on approximately 3000 Sudanese refugees in Mostafa Mahmoud Park, Cairo, Egypt resulting in the death of 27 refugees according to official statements and the injury of dozens of people including elderly people, women and children.
According to eye witness accounts, the incident began when over 5000 Egyptian riot police armed with batons and shields entered the Park as part of the Egyptian government attempts to forcefully remove the refugees who have been present in the park since September 2005 in protest against the failure of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) to enact their mandate namely, “to protect refugees and resolve refugee problem “and “to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees”.
In light of the failure of the Egyptian authorities to condemn and arrest those in its security apparatus responsible for the mass killings of civilians and grave violations of human rights, SOAT and CIHRS call on the United Nations and its various agencies to immediately act to bring the perpetrators to justice.
SOAT and CIHRS are critically concerned for the protection of Sudanese refugees in Cairo and throughout the region. Recent news releases by Egyptian semi-official press regarding the alleged deportation of 630 of refugees has further added to these grave concerns.
We appeal to the United Nations and the international community to:
i. Immediately establish a thorough and independent investigation into the deaths of the civilians and to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice;
ii. Censure the government of Egypt for its campaign of intimidation and attacks on unarmed refugees and to respect international humanitarian law and to end impunity for crimes committed by its police forces;
iii. Take all necessary measures to ensure the physical and psychological integrity of all the refuges as stated in the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees including freedom of thought, of movement and freedom from torture and degrading treatment;
iv. Ensure the economic and social rights of all the refugees including access to medical care, schooling and the right to work and to living expenses;
v. Address the political factors which gave rise to thousands of Sudanese refugees namely the ongoing conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan, and the slow reconstruction of the South. SOAT and CIHRS therefore consider that a political solution to the crisis is essential.
vi. Immediately resume and speedily facilitate the resettlement process in cooperation with hosting countries;
SOAT and CIHRS urge the Government of Egypt to:
i. Make known the whereabouts and immediately release all the refugees detained in the absence of valid legal charges, or if legitimate charges exist, bring them before an impartial tribunal and guarantee procedural rights at all times;
ii. Immediately release the bodies of all those killed to their families and compensate the victims for the arbitrary loss of lives and injuries sustained;
iii. Take all necessary measures to ensure the physical and psychological integrity of all the refugees as stated in the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees which was ratified by Egypt in 1981 including freedom of thought, of movement and freedom from torture and degrading treatment.
iv. Ensure the economic and social rights of all the refugees including access to medical care, schooling and the right to work;
v. Give assurances that Sudanese refugees in its borders will not be subjected to further torture or ill-treatment;
vi. Immediately cease the reported deportation of refugees back to Sudan
vii. Provide accurate information on the current situation of the refugees and allow NGOs and INGOs access to all the detained refugees
SOAT London 05/01/06
CIHRS Cairo 05/01/06
SOAT is international human rights organisation established in the UK in 1993. If you have any questions about this or any other SOAT information, please contact us:
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CIHRS is a regional human rights organization concerning about human rights in the Arab region. CIHRS was established in 1994 in Cairo, Egypt. For further information please visit our website or contact us:
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies(CIHRS)
Tel : +202 7951112/ +202 7962514
fax: +202 7921913
9 Rustom Street Garden City ,Cairo,Egypt
P.O.BOX 117 (Maglis El Shaab),Cairo