Sudan accused of forcibly returning refugees and asylum seekers

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At least 74 Eritrean asylum seekers have been forcibly removed from Sudan and sent back home according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

The group was deported back to Eritrea on Monday June 30.

UNHCR says the asylum seekers had been convicted on charges of illegal entry into Sudan, but were not given access to asylum procedures in order to have their claims reviewed by competent authorities.

The agency says it was deeply concerned over the forced returns of Eritrean and other asylum seekers and refugees from Sudan.

Melissa Fleming is the spokesperson for UNHCR.

"Such deportations amount to refoulement and constitute a serious violation of the 1951 Refugee convention as well as the 2014 Sudanese Asylum Act. We remind the government of Sudan of its obligations under international and Sudanese law and urges the authorities to provide all asylum seekers immediate access to asylum procedures and protection from refoulement. No individual under international refugee law can be involuntarily returned to a country where he or she has well-founded fear of persecution."

There are over 160,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Sudan mainly from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad and South Sudan.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration1:31″

 

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