UNHCR deeply concerned by deportation of Eritreans from Sudan

Press Releases, 26 July 2011

GENEVA UNHCR strongly condemns the recent deportation of Eritrean asylum-seekers by Sudan. In the latest incident yesterday, one asylum-seeker died while another was seriously wounded.

The incident on Monday occurred in eastern Sudan during a deportation exercise when two asylum-seekers jumped off the truck carrying them to the border with Eritrea. One of them, aged 23, died from his injuries while the second, aged 17, is in hospital and unconscious. According to UNHCR staff on the ground, another four asylum-seekers were deported despite the incident, including an adolescent.

The asylum-seekers had been convicted on charges of illegal entry to Sudan under national immigration laws. They had at no time been provided with access to asylum procedures. Such deportations of asylum-seekers without having their claims reviewed by the competent authorities amount to refoulement and constitute a serious violation of the 1951 Refugee Convention as well as the 1974 Sudanese Asylum Act.

UNHCR is deeply concerned over the recent increase in deportations of Eritrean asylum-seekers and refugees from Sudan. Since May this year, Sudan has deported at least 30 asylum-seekers and refugees to Eritrea, where UNHCR believes they are likely to face persecution.

The UN refugee agency has consistently reminded Sudan of its obligations under international and Sudanese law. UNHCR urges the Sudanese government to stop the ongoing deportations and to provide all asylum-seekers currently in detention with immediate access to asylum procedures.

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