UN: Egypt Not Allowing
Access To Detained Asylum Seekers
Mayton - AHN Middle East Correspondent
Cairo, Egypt (AHN) -
Egypt is continuing to receive criticism over the forced deportation of Eritrean
asylum seekers from international refugee organizations. The United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees said Cairo has not given its staff access to the
Eritreans, despite earlier claims it would.
"We are asking for
unhindered access to all persons seeking asylum currently in detention," U.N.
High Commissioner for Refugees spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis said in a
Her comments come as
Egypt has already sent at least 600 Eritreans back to their home country and is
expected to deport another 600 this coming week.
Egyptian officials said
last week that it would grant the UNHCR staff in the country full and free
access to Eritreans currently being held in detention to determiner their
status, but the UNHCR reports that this has yet to happen.
A team did visit two
detention centers in Aswan, southern Egypt, but said they met with only 142
Eritreans and 19 Ethiopians. The U.N. refugee agency said they have "credible
reports" that the number of detained asylum seekers is much higher.
"UNHCR teams also went to
other detention locations in Egypt but were unable to obtain access. In some
instances they were asked to bring specific permission from prison authorities,
while at others they were informed by the authorities that Eritrean asylum
seekers were no longer present," Pagonis said.
Source: AHN, Global News
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