Sunday, January 01, 2006

Probe into deaths of 23 Sudanese refugees at Cairo camp

January 1, 2006 Washington Post report excerpt:

"New York-based Human Rights Watch called for an independent investigation into the deaths, which took place near the Cairo offices of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. The United Nations had said the Sudanese were mostly economic migrants, not people in danger of persecution if they went home.

'President Hosni Mubarak should urgently appoint an independent commission to investigate the use of force by police against Sudanese migrants,' Human Rights Watch said.

'The high loss of life suggests the police acted with extreme brutality. . . . A police force acting responsibly would not have allowed such a tragedy to occur,' said Joe Stork, deputy director of the group's Middle East division.

Eleven Egyptian groups blamed the Interior Ministry for the events and also called for an inquiry.

The ministry 'knows no way to deal with people, whether citizens or refugees, other than by beating, crushing, extrajudicial killing, or transfer to illegal detention centres,' the groups said in a joint statement.

Presidential spokesman Soleiman Awad said Egypt had no choice but to intervene and said the UNHCR office had asked authorities three times to break up the sit-in."

Further reading Dec 30, 2005 Sudan Watch: Darfur genocide continues into 4th year - Ten Sudanese die as camp in Cairo stormed

No comments: