Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 July 2014, 08:36 GMT

UN agency dismayed by Sudan's deportation of Eritrean refugees

Publisher UN News Service
Publication Date 18 October 2011
Cite as UN News Service, UN agency dismayed by Sudan's deportation of Eritrean refugees, 18 October 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4ea107a62.html [accessed 23 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
The United Nations refugee agency today condemned the deportation of more than 300 Eritrean refugees and asylum-seekers by Sudan after weeks of detention and in spite of a previous agreement with the UN.

Adrian Edwards, a spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told reporters at a press briefing in Geneva that his agency was concerned that the rights of refugees were not being respected, even though Sudanese authorities had assured otherwise, and said Sudan's actions breached the agreement between his agency and the Government.

"The deportation took place despite an agreement between UNHCR and the SudaneseThe deportation took place despite an agreement between UNHCR and the Sudanese Commissioner for Refugees that the Eritreans would be transferred to Khartoum for joint screening… Commissioner for Refugees that the Eritreans would be transferred to Khartoum for joint screening – the aim being to identify people in the group who already had refugee status and to allow others the opportunity to lodge asylum claims," he said.

Upon arrival, the refugees were convicted on charges of illegal entry and movement in Sudan, and were subsequently detained for several weeks in Dongola in the country's north, before being deported yesterday.

Mr. Edwards said deportations like these violate the 1951 UN Refugee Convention as well as the 1974 Sudanese Asylum Act.

According to UNHCR, Sudan has recently forced asylum-seekers on various occasions to return to Eritrea, where they risk persecution.

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