UNHCR concerned over forced returns of refugee and asylum-seekers from Sudan
BRIEFER: Melissa Fleming, Spokesperson for the High Commissioner
This is a summary of what was said by the UNHCR spokesperson at today’s Palais des Nations press briefing in Geneva. Further information can be found on the UNHCR websites, www.unhcr.org and www.unhcr.fr, which should also be checked for regular media updates on non-briefing days.
UNHCR is deeply concerned over recent forced returns, or refoulement, of Eritrean and other asylum seekers and refugees from Sudan. These include an incident on Monday, 30 June in Eastern Sudan where 74 Eritreans were sent back to Eritrea through Laffa border crossing point, according to information received from immigration authorities.
The asylum-seekers had been convicted on charges of illegal entry into Sudan under national immigration laws. They were not given access to asylum procedures in order to have their claims reviewed by the competent authorities.
Such deportations of asylum-seekers amount to refoulement and constitute a serious violation of the 1951 Refugee Convention as well as the 2014 Sudanese Asylum Act.
The UN Refugee Agency reminds the Government of Sudan of its obligations under international and Sudanese law and urges the Sudanese authorities to provide all asylum-seekers immediate access to asylum procedures and protection from refoulement.
There are over 160,000 refugees and asylum-seekers in Sudan mainly from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad and South Sudan.
For more information on this topic, please contact:
In Geneva, Babar Baloch on mobile +41 79 557 9106