Join the United African Organization (UAO) in protesting the treatment of Africans crossing the Egypt-Israel border. Help us present a united front for their human rights!
Last week, Egyptian border guards shot and killed an African who was trying to get over the border and into Israel. This brings the official total to 16 migrants murdered as they tried to escape deteriorating conditions in Eritrea and the Sudan. Advocates say that the real numbers are probably higher. In addition, hundreds have been arrested and placed in detention. The Egyptian government openly defends their actions as a border-control policy, and calls the migrants “infiltrators.”
THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT A RISK TO EGYPTIAN NATIONAL SECURITY. The vast majority are passing through the Sinai desert on their way to Israel or Europe. In many cases, a human trafficking ring drives them to the border, then drops them off and tells them to run. If they are spotted by Egyptian security guards, they are fired at and often injured or killed. Why is Egypt so concerned with migrants leaving their territory? Egypt and Israel agreed in 2007 on harsh measures to discourage this stream of refugees. If Egypt can’t prevent them from crossing, Israel pushes them right back over the border.
BOTH EGYPT AND ISRAEL ARE VIOLATING INTERNATIONAL LAW. Human rights conventions prohibit security officials from using lethal force unless there is “a proportional and necessary response to a threat to life.” In addition, the principle of “non-refoulement” guarantees asylum-seekers the right to demonstrate their fear of persecution before a legal authority. Both countries are failing to assess migrants’ need for protection. In addition, Egypt refuses the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) access to detainees. Foreigners are arrested on sight, thrown in jail, tried before a military court and sent back into the Sudan.
Call the Israeli and Egyptian Embassies, and tell them NOT to shoot at migrants fleeing desperate circumstances!
ISRAEL: (202) 364-5500 EGYPT: (202) 895-5400
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