Three Eritrean nationals, Mohamed Nour Ammar, Samar Mohamed Nour Ammar and Salem Tawlidi Adhanom, have been arbitrarily detained in Egypt without legal basis or access to asylum procedures since 2019. They are facing forced return to Eritrea, where they are at real risk of persecution. Since October 31, 2021, the Egyptian authorities have deported at least 15 Eritreans. The authorities must immediately halt any plans to deport the three individuals and other Eritreans arbitrarily detained in Egypt and grant them access to asylum procedures.
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I write to express my concern about the authorities’ plans to deport Mohamed Nour Ammar
, Samar Mohamed Nour Ammar
and Salem Tawlidi Adhanom
, three Eritrean nationals who are arbitrarily detained at al-Qusayr police station, Red Sea governorate. The three were part of a group of 18 Eritreans from the same family, who were arrested on October 24, 2019 at the Egyptian-Sudanese border. Egyptian authorities deported eight of them on October 31, and seven on November 18, 2021. The 18 individuals were denied their right to legal representation and access to asylum procedures and were held without any legal basis. They were held in cruel and inhuman conditions, crammed into narrow cells and denied exercise or access to sunlight. The authorities did not provide them with any clothes or items for personal hygiene including sanitary napkins for women and girls. Their families were only able to visit them four times during their two years of detention.
In a statement
issued on November 19, 2021, UN human rights experts condemned Egypt’s deportation of the Eritreans without any due process and expressed concern about the disappearance of the eight Eritreans expelled in October, noting that those returned “are often detained upon arrival to Eritrea, questioned, tortured, held in extremely punitive conditions and disappeared”. Amnesty International understands that Mohamed Nour Ammar, Samar Mohamed Nour Ammar and Salem Tawlidi Adhanom have not yet been deported due to lack of travel documents.
In October, the authorities halted their plans to deport Alem Tesfay Abraham
and Kibrom Adhanom Okbazghi
, two other Eritrean nationals who have been arbitrarily detained for more than seven years at al-Qanatar Prison for men, north of Cairo. However, they have travel documents and risk deportation at any time.
I urge you to immediately halt the deportation of Mohamed Nour Ammar, Samar Mohamed Nour Ammar, Salem Tawlidi Adhanom, Alem Tesfay Abraham and Kibrom Adhanom Okbazghi, release them and grant them access to asylum procedures. Pending their release, ensure that they are held in conditions meeting international standards on the treatment of prisoners. I also urge you to end the deportation of all Eritreans without access to asylum procedures as it violates the principle of non-refoulement.