The Egyptian authorities have launched a campaign for detaining and prosecuting Palestinian and Syrian refugees fleeing from Syria to Egypt over the past three days.
The Working Group for Palestinians in Syria revealed that the campaign is centred in various parts of Cairo, including Nasr City, 6 of October and Al-Obor. According to one of the Palestinian refugees targeted, security forces are raiding homes that are believed to be sheltering Palestinian or Syrian refugees, as well as arresting refugees while out shopping in the streets or simply passing by.
The source added that the Egyptian authorities are arguing that these refugees do not hold legal residencies, also noting that the Egyptian Department of Immigration refuses to issue any type of residency for Palestinian or Syrian refugees in Egypt.
In a statement, the working group said that the Egyptian authorities’ behaviour towards these refugees is breaching all international norms and laws, and urged the authorities to protect and give care to refugees fleeing from war zones. In addition, the working group stressed that the deportation of refugees back to Syria is a flagrant violation of the most basic rights of refugees and the Egyptian government must bear its consequences.
After arresting hundreds of Palestinians and Syrians, Egyptian authorities are preparing to deport a number of them back to Syria on Wednesday night through Cairo International Airport. Moreover, major human rights violations against Palestinians and Syrians held in Egyptian prisons in Alexandria have now been recorded, especially with regard to incidents of sexual harassment.
Meanwhile, 290 Palestinians from Syria are still languishing in the prisons of Egypt, most of them families with women and children, according to the working group.