Bloomberg News

Sudan Urged by Amnesty to Stop Deporting Eritrean Asylum Seekers

August 16, 2012

Sudan should halt the deportation of asylum seekers from Eritrea because they face detention and torture by the Eritrean authorities, Amnesty International said.

The North African country last month forcibly returned six Eritreans to their home country, where the government considers asylum seeking to be an act of treason, the London-based rights group said in a statement e-mailed yesterday.

“Eritreans forcibly returned to Eritrea face a real risk of being subjected to violations, including incommunicado detention, torture and other forms of serious ill-treatment,” Amnesty said. “Detention conditions in Eritrea are appalling, and in themselves amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”

Amnesty said the six Eritreans deported July 24 were among a group of 51 Eritreans and Ethiopians convicted earlier in July of entering Sudan illegally and sentenced to two months imprisonment and deportation. The rights group said all were denied access to lawyers and translators, while only one of the individuals spoke Arabic and could understand court proceedings. In addition to the six Eritreans, Sudan also deported four Ethiopian nationals to Eritrea. The remaining 41 are still imprisoned.

The deportations violate international law, which stipulates that individuals shouldn’t be returned to countries where they are at risk of human rights violations, according to Amnesty. Sudanese Foreign Ministry spokesman al-Obeid Murawih didn’t answer phone calls to his mobile phone today seeking comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jared Ferrie in Juba via Nairobi at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.


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