For many years, hundreds of Eriterian refugees have been abducted and sent to ‘torture camps’ in Egypt and Sudan where they are subjected to various forms of inhuman and degrading treatments and extreme violence. These include beatings, mutilations, starvation, physical punishment, rape and other sexual violence.
According to HRW (human rights watch), the authorities and security agencies have failed to identify and prosecute these traffickers but often collude with them in the kidnap and torture of the refugees.
These heartless traffickers demand ransom from the families and relatives of these victims. Most times, even when this ransom is paid, the traffickers end up selling them to other traffickers. Often times, even when the refugees are eventually released, on their way out of the country, they are arrested by military men and detained at prison camps in deplorable conditions.
Most of these refugees are among the 200,000 (mainly christians) that have fled repression and destitution in Eriteria since 2004. There have been reports of wide spread collusion between traffickers and Sudanese and Egyptian police. The Police and Military even help kidnap and torture these refugees before handing them over to the traffickers for money!!
In the Egypt Sinai Pennisula, the situation is extreme; the refugees are brutalised, including by being
whipped, beaten, deprived of food, raped, chained together and forced to do domestics or manual labour at smugglers’
In a comprehensive report done by HRW, a victim tells his story, “They beat me with a metal rod. They dripped molten plastic on my back. They beat the soles of my feet and then they forced me to stand for long periods of
time, sometimes for days. Sometimes they threatened to kill me and put a gun to my
head,” he told HRW.
“They hung me from the ceiling so my legs couldn’t reach the floor and they gave me
electric shocks. One person died after they hung him from the ceiling for 24 hours. We watched him die. Whenever I called my relatives to ask them to pay, they burnt me with a hot iron rod
so I would scream on the phone. We could not protect the women in our room: they just took them out, raped them, and
brought them back.”
Its high time the Governments of Sudan and Egypt started taking urgent steps to prevent the continuous torture of these refugees. For Christ sake, they are REFUGEES, they need protection and help not what they are getting now. Serious measures should be employed to crack down on traffickers and their police and military accomplice. They should be arrested and prosecuted.
The UN should equally look into this matter of extreme human rights violation.