Sudanese security authorities illegally deport and detain Eritrean refugees
The Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights (EMDHR) is disturbed and distressed by the detention and forced deportation of Eritrean asylum seekers and refugees in the Sudan. Last week, our contacts from Sudan reported to us that hundreds of Eritrean asylum seekers and refugees were rounded up and detained by Sudanese security authorities in Khartoum before some of them were deported to Eritrea. These reports also confirmed that officials demanded exorbitant amount of money (3000 pounds) from the vulnerable migrants in order to spare themselves from deportation. Those who were unable to pay such illegal fees were then deported to Eritrea. It is an open secret that Eritrea detainees, tortures, and even extrajudicially executes people who flee their country due to the repressive nature of the ruling regime. This is against the moral and legal responsibility of the Republic of Sudan to protect and assist refugees. These actions violate international refugee laws such as the UN and African UN Refugee Conventions, and international human rights law. The EMDHR condemns these acts of intimidation, detention, extortion, deportation, and abuses meted against vulnerable Eritrean asylum seekers and refugees.
While we have always been grateful for the historical and continuing generosity of the Sudanese government and people in hosting Eritrean refugees, we condemn the recent illegal actions taken against these Eritreans under its jurisdiction.
We urge the Sudanese government to: 1. Immediately halt the forcible deportation of Eritrean asylum seekers and refugees to Eritrea where they run the risk of detention, torture, and extrajudicial execution. 2. To release all the asylum seekers and refugees detained by is security forces and reimburse those who were made to pay illegal fees. 3. To provide adequate protection to the Eritrean asylum seekers and refugees as mandated by both the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and 1969 African Union Refugee Convention.
We also urge: 1. The UNHCR investigates with immediate effect of the latest actions by the Sudanese authorities and guarantee the protection of the vulnerable Eritrean asylum seekers and refugees in the Sudan; 2. The UNHCR, UN Human Rights Commission as well as the African Union to trace the whereabouts of the deported Eritrean refugees and ensure their human rights are respected at the hand of the Eritrean government; 3. The UNHCR and the international community take the Sudanese Government to task to respect and adhere to the international and regional conventions and laws on the protection of refugees it is a signatory of; 4. The African Union and the International Community to seriously pay attention to the Eritrean refugee crisis and endeavour to find a durable solution by addressing its root causes; 5. The African Union and the International Community must show resolve to challenge the Eritrean Government to abandon its oppressive policies and allow democratic political reforms.
Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights (EMDHR) 04 June 2016 Pretoria, South Africa