Monday, January 02, 2006

Sudanese in U.S. Condemn Police Brutality of Refugees in Cairo


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 2, 2006

Contact: Sabit Alley at sabit285@aol.com or (732) 236-3219

The Sudanese Community in the U.S. Condemns the Police Brutality of Refugees
Survivors say over 50 Killed


TRENTON, NJ: Members of the South Sudanese Community in the U.S. are outraged by the murder of their fellow country men in Cairo by the Egyptian security forces. Reports from surviving refugees in Cairo say that, contrary to most news reports, the number killed has risen to over 50 and this number may continue to rise as more bodies are discovered.

The South Sudanese Community in the U.S. condemns, in the strongest terms, the brutal use of force by the Egyptian security forces, which has resulted in the killing of innocent Sudanese in the Egyptian capital. We also condemn the actions of the UNHCR for collaborating with the Egyptian police and for its continued failure to protect these refugees.

The problem began early Friday morning when Egyptian police attacked the refugees who had been peacefully camping on the UNHCR compound for the last three months. Many of them had suffered discrimination in Egypt for several years and had made numerous complaints about their plight in Egypt to the UNHCR, but were ignored.
Their complaints listed the abuses meted on them by the Egyptian authorities and the general public, the denial of basic services such as health, education, employment and, above all, the official recognition as refugees.
The problem began early Friday morning when Egyptian police attacked the refugees who had been peacefully camping on the UNHCR compound for the last three months. Many of them had suffered discrimination in Egypt for several years and had made numerous complaints about their plight in Egypt to the UNHCR, but were ignored. Their complaints listed the abuses meted on them by the Egyptian authorities and the general public, the denial of basic services such as health, education, employment and, above all, the official recognition as refugees.


The refugees first decided to camp outside of the UNHCR's offices in Cairo last September, because of the UNHCR's continued refusal to listen and address their grievances. The objective of their camp was to draw attention to their suffering and to plead with the U.N. to relocate them to a third country for refuge, but the UNHCR refused to do anything.

According to reports from refugees, who were eyewitnesses to the violence and managed to escape, the officers not only sprayed hot water on the refugees, but beat them with batons and fired gun shots at them. As a result, the police killed a number of refugees and injured many others. A large number of those who were not killed, were bundled up into waiting buses and driven off to undisclosed locations in the Egyptian desert.

"We are receiving numerous reports that the Egyptian security forces are now searching for and rounding up South Sudanese refugees in the city to be taken to these undisclosed locations," said Sabit Alley, a leader in the South Sudanese Community in the U.S.

Knowing the brutality of the Egyptian security forces in the past, the Sudanese Community in the US is concerned that their kinsmen in Egypt are being tortured in locations where journalists and human rights groups are denied access. We are also concerned that the Egyptian government, in concert with the UNHCR, may forcefully deport refugees to Sudan, where they had escaped religious, racial and political victimization and persecution, and where these highly oppressive conditions still exist despite Sudan's peace agreement to end its north-south civil war.

The South Sudanese Community of the U.S. requests that the U.S. government and the international community intervene in this crisis and:

1- Appoint an independent international body to investigate the circumstances surrounding the wanton and barbaric murder of innocent South Sudanese refugees in Cairo;
2- Compel the Egyptian government to release all of the refugees who have been taken into detention or to some secret locations outside of Cairo;

3- Demand that the Egyptian government and the UNHCR immediately cease their plans to forcefully deport these refugees against their will to the Sudan;

4- Ask international non-governmental organizations to provide emergency medical and relief services to the wounded and affected refugees;

5- Request that the UNHCR immediately relocate these refugees to a friendly third country where their safety can be guaranteed.
Contact: Sabit Alley: sabit285@aol.com or phone: (732) 236-3219

Sabit Alley is an Associate Representative of the SPLA/M in America and a leader of the South Sudanese Community in the U.S.

7 Comments:

At 6:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this important message. The Southern Sudanese and Darfurians in Cairo have suffered so much at the hands of the Egyptian security forces. The Egyptian government should be called to task for promoting such atrocities.

 
At 10:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes indeed, they should be called to task. How can Egypt pretend to be an up-standing member of the world community if it does not find and punish those responsible for this atrocity?

If they do not, then the world will KNOW this was a government sanctioned massacre motivated by Islamic supremacism and racism.

 
At 6:29 AM , Blogger Maria said...

I just read this article in the NY Times about the situation: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/03/international/africa/03egypt.html?pagewanted=1

Though the NY Times can be problematic in its reporting, this piece appears to give a fairly good impression of what is going on. It is ghastly for those poor people, and it looks like the Catholic Church in Cairo that is holding them in its courtyard is overwhelmed.

Is there any way that the Coptic Church in Cairo can at least help these people out with food, blankets and other basic supplies? They are suffering. Christ calls us to relieve suffering and not to disciminate. They should be helped, as they desperately need it.

Maria

 
At 7:36 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

well iam so sad this really happened where it is completely unfair, they are humanbeings they must at least have their least rights allowing them live a good respectable life, how come people became so cruel killing women and children, they dont deserve be treated like that
but i have comment on one of the comments saying "If they do not, then the world will KNOW this was a government sanctioned massacre motivated by Islamic supremacism and racism"
plz keep islam away from this coz islam is the religous of peace ok we must deny all what happened but islam is completely away from this

 
At 7:45 PM , Anonymous raif said...

To the person with the comment above..

You say "plz keep islam away from this coz islam is the religous of peace"

Well... my friend,unfortunately, quite a few people make this statement difficult to believe. People like Bin Laden, Zawahry, the killers of Iraq who slaughtered many people, including Moslems, Suicide bombers, and the thugs of Indonesia who attack civilians and churches.

It is the duty of every free thinking Moslem to stand up and denounce all these acts of terrorism.

 
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