Target: Mohamed Ibrahim Moustafa, Minister of Interior of Egypt
Goal: Prevent the deportation of 75 refugees fleeing condition in Syria and Gaza.
Seventy-five political refugees, including 15 children between the ages of 10 months and 16 years, have spent a long, hard winter detained in substandard conditions in Egypt’s Karmouz Police Station. They face being deported back to their war-torn countries at any time, which is in violation of a number of international treaties and agreements. Demand asylum for these refugees.
Conditions at the Karmouz Police Station in Alexandria have not been adequate for the refugees detained there. The room holding the refugees has not been heated throughout the winter, and temperatures have dropped as low as 48 degrees Fahrenheit. To keep warm, the refugees have kept the windows shut, resulting in a lack of fresh air. Four refugees have been hospitalized for various health ailments.
Fifty of the refugees began a hunger strike to protest both their treatment and the prospect of being deported back to the countries from which they fled. Although some of the group abandoned the hunger strike on doctors’ advice, 30 refugees continue to refuse food.
It is highly likely that the refugees would face human rights violations if they were deported to their home countries. A number of international treaties, including the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights and the Organization of African Unity Convention (1951 and 1968), protect the refugees’ rights to seek asylum in other countries without fear of forcible deportation. In fact, Egypt’s own constitution forbids the forcible return of refugees (Article 91). Despite all this, as well as an order from the Public Prosecutor that the refugees be released, the National Security Agency continues to detain the refugees and threaten them with deportation.
The 75 people trapped in the Karmouz Police Station have already suffered enough, both in Egypt and in their home countries. Sign the petition below and demand that they be free to start new lives.
Dear Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Moustafa,
I am writing to demand the release of the 75 refugees from Syria and Gaza currently being held in the Karmouz Police Station in Alexandria. Their continued detention by the National Security Agency violates an order from the Public Prosecutor, and the threat of deportation violates a number of international human rights agreements, as well as Egypt’s own laws. Please do what is right and ensure that the refugees are released immediately.
Of the 75 detainees, 15 are children between the ages of 10 months and 16 years. All the refugees have been subjected to substandard living conditions, which have resulted in some of the refugees taking ill. More than half the group began a hunger strike to protest their living conditions and their possible deportations, and just under half the group continues to refuse food in protest.
Under the UN Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the Organization of African Unity Convention (1951 and 1968), refugees are granted the right to seek asylum without fear of forced deportations. Even more compellingly, Egypt’s own constitution forbids the forcible return of refugees to their war-torn countries (Article 91).
The people held in the Karmouz Police Station have already suffered so much, both in their homelands and in Egypt. Put an end to their struggle by doing what is right: Release these refugees immediately and grant them the freedom to start their lives over.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Haeferi via Wikimedia Commons