To UNHCR in Egypt
RE: Demanding Urgent action regarding 27 Iranian refugees facing deportation back to Iran
I am writing you this letter on behalf of the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR) regarding the boat carrying 57 passengers from different nationalities including Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Egypt that was rescued by the Egyptian Navy on the 21st October 2020. These refugees have been travelling from Turkey in search for a better life far from their original countries that has kept them feeling unsafe and insecure. According to our sources, these refugees were being held in Egypt in Matruh Port since the boat sinking and on the 10th of November the Iraqi and Iranian refugees were moved to Qahera separating the 25 Iraqi refugees by handcuffing and taking them to the Iraqi embassy and the Iranian refugees to the Iranian Embassy.
IFIR asked the Egyptian authorities:
1- The 57 passengers are dealt with as refugees rather than just instantly being sent back to their countries where their lives will be at a huge risk especially in Iran where they will be executed. This comes with the certain political alignment that some of these refugees hold that’ll make them a target for powerful parties in countries such as Iraq and Iran.
2- greatly appreciate that an update is given on the refugees, as their families are extremely worried about their current condition as some haven’t been in contact with their loved ones since before the incident occurred where these refugees were trying to go from Turkey to Italy, so it would be great for the families to have a chance to communicate with their families.
3- IFIR urges that these refugees are treated fairly on a humanitarian basis whereby their rights are taken into consideration to provide them with safest possible solution to allow them to live a life of security and well-being.
So far none of these demands have been fulfilled. IFIR have been informed that the 27 Iranian refugees held in detention center in Qahera in a poor condition with no water and food. Also, they separated women and children and pressurized them to agree go back to Iran which will lead them to face death. The refugees also asked for an interpreter but the Egyptian authorities are refusing to do so.
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IFIR asks the UNHCR to tack a urgent action meet the 27 Iranian refugees and make sure the refugees are in a safe manner far away from their dangerous countries and aren’t sent back to Iran.
General Secretary of International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR)