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Parliamentary questions
17 November 2011
E-010566/2011
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 117
Sergio Berlato (PPE)

 Subject: 118 young Eritrean refugees forced under torture to sign voluntary repatriation documents
 Answer(s) 

EveryOne Group has issued a press release detailing the terrible situation faced by detainees at Aswan prison in Egypt, where about 300 Eritrean refugees are being held in appalling sanitary conditions and subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment on a daily basis.

According to the information released by EveryOne Group, most of the refugees have come from the prison camps run by traffickers in northern Sinai, where they were subjected to torture, beatings and rape. In the last few days, 118 Catholic young Eritrean men were summoned by the prison guards one by one, and asked to sign documents in which they agreed to voluntary repatriation. When the refugees refused, explaining that they would be persecuted in Eritrea — and in many cases murdered — the guards subjected them to torture and beatings, forcing them to sign the papers. The Muslim Eritreans did not suffer the same treatment. The young men who signed the papers are now awaiting deportation.

In the light of the extremely serious situation outlined above, does the Commission not think it should make an urgent appeal to the Minister for the Interior of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and to the Egyptian embassies, to ensure that those responsible for torturing and beating the 118 refugees are brought to justice and that the Eritrean prisoners receive international protection as provided for under the Geneva Convention on Refugees?

In addition, does it not think it should endorse the urgent appeal launched by EveryOne Group, the Gandhi Association and the network of NGOs for the rights of refugees to the Secretary‑General of the United Nations and the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, to use all their political, legal and humanitarian powers to put a stop to the killing, torture, beatings, unfair detentions and deportations of Eritrean and sub-Saharan refugees?

Original language of question: ITOJ C 285 E, 21/09/2012
Last updated: 23 November 2011Legal notice