Deportations of Eritreans by Sudan condemned

Eritrean refugees on their way home from Sudan

The deportation of Eritrean asylum-seekers by Sudanese authorities on Monday has been condemned by the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).

The Eritreans who had been detained for several weeks in Dongola, in Sudan's Northern State bordering Egypt, were convicted on charges of illegal entry and movement within Sudan.

Adrian Edwards, Spokesperson for UNHCR, says that despite assurances from the authorities, the rights of refugees are not being respected.

"The deportation took place despite an agreement between UNHCR and the Sudanese Commissioner for Refugees that the Eritreans would be transferred to Khartoum for joint screening – the aim being to identify people in the group who already had refugee status and to allow others the opportunity to lodge asylum claims."

 UNHCR says that Sudan has recently repeatedly forced back Eritrean asylum-seekers and refugees to Eritrea, where they risk persecution.

It adds that deportations of refugees and asylum-seekers amount to refoulement, or forced return, and violate the 1951 UN Refugee Convention as well as the 1974 Sudanese Asylum Act.

(Duration: 19")

UN agency dismayed by Sudan’s deportation of Eritrean refugees

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