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Egypt : Killings of Border Crossers Must Stop

ICC Note

Eritrea is infamous for detaining and torturing Christians to death. As a result, thousands of Christians have been fleeing the country and seeking asylum in other countries. While crossing into Israel from Egypt , some of the Eritrean refugees have been killed by Egyptian officials.

08/20/2008 Egypt ( International has written to Egypt ’s President Hosni Mubarak this week urging him to end the use of lethal force against African migrants attempting to cross Egypt ‘s the borders into Israel .

According to Amnesty International’s count, 25 people have been shot and killed trying to cross the Egyptian border into Israel since mid-2007. Nineteen of them were shot dead between January and August 2008 in 16 separate incidents in which tens of others were injured.

In June 2008, up to 1,200 Eritreans were forcibly returned from Egypt to their country of origin, where they face the risk of torture and other serious human rights violations. This was done in complete contradiction to UNHCR guidelines calling on all governments not to forcibly return refugees and asylum-seekers, including rejected asylum-seekers, to Eritrea . Many of those forcibly returned had fled from Eritrea to avoid indefinite military service or because of religious persecution against Christians.

Following their return, most of the men have been detained by the Eritrean authorities in military training camps at Wia.

Amongst other things, Amnesty International is calling for the Egyptian authorities to:

  • Instruct security forces not to use firearms or other lethal force except when strictly necessary;

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