Eritrean refugee children detained in adult prisons in Egypt

Wednesday, 01 May 2013 16:36 Release Eritrea

Eritrean refugee children detained in adult prisons in Egypt

Late March, 2013 – somewhere on the Sudanese/Egyptian border

Release Eritrea’s Egypt team is  receiving reports of the arrest and detention of a large group of around 140 victims of human trafficking at the Sudan/Egypt border by Egyptian border guards.  During the arrest, the vehicle in which the Africans (mostly of Eritrean and Ethiopian origin) were being transported by the traffickers, was fired upon by the guards and at least a dozen refugees were shot and wounded.

Those arrested were taken to prisons and police stations around Aswan city.  However the Team members have not been able to contacts those who were wounded and do not know where they currently are.  The traffickers are not being held in the same prison as the refugees, it is feared that this may mean that the criminal traffickers may have somehow evaded detention.

In other developments, in one prison in Aswan there are 95 Eritrean prisoners, of which 60 are men, 30 women, and 5 children.  The ages of the children are 10, 6, 5, 2 and 9 months. Project workers say that  ‘It is utterly unacceptable that these children are being detained in an adult prison with their mothers.  These prisoners are all suffering a lot some been there for more than 8 months – especially the children - without access to medicine and with insufficient food’.