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Egypt detains Palestinian and Syrian refugees

The Egyptian authorities have arrested 144 Palestinian and Syrian refugees who were, it is believed, trying to migrate to Europe, the Action Group for Palestinians in Syria has said. Forty women and 35 children are among the refugees arrested by the Egyptian navy. All were arrested for "illegal migration".

An eyewitness told the Action Group that all of the refugees who were arrested hold permits to stay in Egypt legally and they have refugee cards issued by the UN High Commission for Refugees, the so-called yellow cards.

Palestinian and Syrian refugees have experienced difficulties in Egypt since the coup last year which overthrew elected President Mohamed Morsi. Many were sacked from schools and universities while hundreds were arrested and deported. Three refugees were killed by the Egyptian navy last year when a group tried to sail to Europe.

Officials at the London-based Action Group called upon the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and human rights organisations to ask Egypt to release all of the refugees who have been imprisoned.

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