The United Nations refugee agency today condemned Sudan’s deportation of Eritrean asylum-seekers on Monday, saying it was concerned with the increased frequency of such incidents and said they violated both international and Sudanese law.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said two asylum-seekers jumped off a truck carrying them to the border with Eritrea. One was killed and the other seriously injured. Four other asylum-seekers were deported at the same time.
“UNHCR strongly condemns the recent deportation of Eritrean asylum-seekers by Sudan,” the agency said in a statement released in Geneva today.
“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 said.
According to the agency, 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.”
“UNHCR is deeply concerned over the recent increase in deportations of Eritrean asylum-seekers and refugees from Sudan,” it said. “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,” it said.