UA: 128/11 Index: MDE 12/034/2011 Egypt Date: 6 May 2011
ASYLUM-SEEKERS AND MIGRANTS RISK FORCIBLE RETURN
Fthawi Zenawi Teklealefa, Bahlbi Goytom Aynalem, Abrham Afwerki Tafele and 85 other asylum-
seekers and migrants, including four Ethiopian and scores of Eritrean nationals are at imminent
risk of being forcibly returned to Eritrea and Ethiopia by the Egyptian authorities. If returned,
they would be at grave risk of arbitrary detention, torture and unfair trials.
Fthawi Zenawi Teklealefa, an Eritrean national aged 22, Bahlbi Goytom Aynalem and Abrham Afwerki Tafele, are
reportedly detained at al-Mustaqbal police station in Ismailia, north-east Egypt, with 85 other asylum-seekers and
Fthawi Zenawi Teklealefa was reportedly shot at by Egyptian security forces on 20 April 2010 as he tried to cross
the border into Israel. He was wounded in his thigh and arrested. He was then transferred to a hospital in al-Arish,
north Sinai, and then to the capital, Cairo, where he underwent surgery. He was later returned to al-Mustaqbal police
station, where he continued to be detained in poor conditions with Bahlbi Goytom Aynalem, Abrham Afwerki Tafele and
85 others. At least two of them are reportedly wounded as a result of injuries sustained when they tried to cross the
border into Israel.
Asylum-seekers returned to Eritrea are routinely subjected to human rights violations, including incommunicado
detention, torture and other forms of ill-treatment, particularly those who have fled from compulsory military
service.. Ethiopian asylum seekers who fled the country based on support of opposition groups, suspected support of
an insurgent group, would be at risk of arbitrary detention, torture and unfair trial, if forcibly returned to Ethiopia.
In recent years, Eritrean and other asylum-seekers have reached Egypt either via its southern border with Sudan or
by sea, south of the city of Hurghada. Others are recognized as refugees by the Office of the UN High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR) in Sudan, and are fleeing Sudan to avoid being forcibly returned to Eritrea by Sudan..
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in English, Arabic or your own language:
Urging the Egyptian authorities not to forcibly return Fthawi Zenawi Teklealefa, Bahlbi Goytom Aynalem, Abrham
Afwerki Tafele and others detained with them back to Eritrea or Ethiopia;
Calling on the Egyptian authorities to immediately stop all forcible returns of asylum-seekers and others to
countries where they would be at risk of torture and other serious human rights violations;
Urging them to respect Egypt’s international obligations under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of
Refugees and the UN Convention Against Torture not to forcibly return asylum-seekers or others to countries where
they would be at risk of torture and other serious human rights abuses;
Asking them to ensure that all asylum-seekers are given immediate access to Office of the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees in Egypt to assess their asylum claims.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 17 JUNE 2011 TO:
Minister of Interior
His Excellency Mansour Abdel Kerim
Ministry of Interior
25 El Sheikh Rihan Street
Bab al-Louk, Cairo, Egypt.
Fax: +20 22 796 0682
Salutation: Dear Minister
Abd El-Megeed Mahmoud
Dar al-Qadha al-‘Ali
Ramses Street, Cairo, Egypt
Fax: +20 22 577 4716
Salutation: Dear Counsellor
And copies to:
Deputy Assistant Minister of Foreign
Affairs for Human Rights
Laila Bahaa Eldin
Human Rights and International
Humanitarian and Social Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Corniche al-Nil, Cairo, Egypt
Fax: +20 22 574 9713
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.