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Five Eritrean Refugees Detained in Egypt Released on Bail

Five Eritrean refugees detained by the Egyptian authorities on 21 July 2019 have been released on bail after 3 months of incarceration. The bail money amounted to a total of US $950.00.

Abdulhadi Mohammed Hamid, Denden Isamail Abubeker, Feday Yemane, Hermon Goytom and Yonatan Bimnet Gebremedhin were among 80 Eritrean refugees & asylum seekers who were arrested in Cairo following a peaceful protest by more than 500 Eritreans outside the local UNHCR office. Whilst most of the detained were released soon after, 5 have been in detention since July 21. The 5 were finally released on bail at 2am (Egyptian time) on Sunday 27 October 2019.

The grievances of the Eritrean Community in Egypt relate to their frustration at alleged maladministration, inefficiency and overall lack of protection and assistance they receive from the UNHCR Cairo Office. In a letter to UNHCR dated 20 July, the refugees also requested an investigation into allegations of corruption by local UNHCR staff.

Whilst we welcome the latest development, protection issues are still a major concern for Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers in Egypt.

We call upon UNHCR to:

  • Fulfil its mandate to provide protection and assistance to Eritrean refugees in Egypt;

  • Ensure the needs of Eritrean refugees, are met including food, shelter, security from trafficking and other situations that exacerbate the vulnerability of these refugees;

  • If UNHCR cannot ensure the safety and welfare of Eritrean asylum seekers and refugees in Egypt, active steps must be taken to resettle the refugees in a third country where they will receive legal and physical protection, including access to civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights similar to those enjoyed by nationals.

Eritrean Movement for Democracy & Human Rights (EMDHR)

London branch

October 27, 2019

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