Letters by Human Rights Concern Eritrea and Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights ask for the immediate release of five detained Eritreans in Cairo, Egypt. The five were arrested on July 21, 2019, and are held in an undisclosed location without access to legal representation. The detained are part of a group of around 500 Eritreans who demonstrated peacefully against alleged mismanagement and corruption by Cairo’s UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) office. Their trial is set today (7 August 2019).
The letters by the concerned organisations call for:
- Unconditional release of the detained, Abdulhadi Mohammed Hamid, Denden Isamail Abubeker, Feday
Yemane, Hermon Goytom, and Yonatan Bimnet Gebremedhin, as they are imprisoned solely for
exercising their right to freedom of expression or peaceful assembly;
- Ensuring that, while they are detained, due process rights is upheld, including access to legal
representation and to family members;
- Ensuring that these Eritrean citizens are not deported to their country of origin where they would be
in grave danger of persecution;
- Urgently reviewing the practice of prolonged and arbitrary pre-trial detention.
The letter from EMDHR, which contains the communication by the Eritrean refugees, recounts some of the UNHCR issues that the refugees have been protesting against, which include problems with registration and refugee status determination. In addition, the refugees are concerned over problems with protection, resettlement and social welfare for refugees in Cairo.
A petition was launched on Change.org calling for the detainees to be released. The link can be found below.