(Nairobi, May 30, 2016) – The Sudanese authorities deported at least 442 Eritreans, including six registered refugees, to Eritrea in May 2016, Human Rights Watch said today. Sudan denied the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) access to identify those who wanted to claim asylum and also denied the agency access to 64 Ethiopians still in detention who risk deportation.
“Sudan is arresting and forcing Eritreans back into the hands of a repressive government without allowing refugees to seek protection,” said Gerry Simpson, senior refugee researcher and advocate at Human Rights Watch. “Sudan should be working with the UN refugee agency to protect these people, not send them back to face abuse.”
Eritrea, ruled by an extremely repressive government, requires all citizens under 50 to serve in national or military service indefinitely, often years longer than the 18 months authorized by law. Anyone of draft age leaving the country without permission is perceived to be a deserter, risking imprisonment in often inhumane conditions, as well as forced labor and torture. UNHCR considers the punishment so severe and disproportionate that it constitutes persecution and a basis on which to grant refugee status.
read more at HRW