Document - �GYPTE. Craintes pour la s�curit� / Usage excessif de la force

PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 12/032/2007

18 September 2007

Further Information on UA 202/07 (MDE 12/025/2007, 7 August 2007) Fear for safety/use of excessive force

EGYPT Hundreds of migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees from Sudan and other sub-Saharan African countries

Egyptian security forces shot dead a man trying to cross into Israel on 16 September. The man, believed to have been Eritrean, was apparently shot in the back. Several other Eritreans trying to cross into Israel with him were arrested.

The UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials both require Egyptian security forces, including border police, to use lethal force only when their own lives are in immediate danger and there is no other means to respond to that danger.


Thousands of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, mostly from Sudan and Eritrea or other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, try to cross from Egypt to Israel each year. Their numbers have been increasing; according to the Israeli Minister of Interior Meir Sheetrit some 300 now try every week to cross into Israel.

Over 230 mostly Sudanese migrants, trying to cross the border without official permission, were arrested in July 2007 alone during raids by the Egyptian security forces in the border area between Egypt and Israel. According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) some two to three million mainly Sudanese migrants,including thousands of refugees, are living in Egypt. Israel has put pressure on Egypt to reduce the flow of migrants crossing the border.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Arabic, French or your own language:

- expressing concern that an Eritrean man was shot dead by Egyptian security forces on 16 September as he attempted to cross the border into Israel, and calling on the authorities to order a thorough and impartial investigation;

- reminding the authorities that Egypt’s security forces, including border police, are required to use lethal force only when their own lives are in immediate danger.


His Excellency Mohammad Hosni Mubarak

President of the Arab Republic of Egypt

'Abedine Palace

Cairo, Egypt

Fax: +20 2 2390 1998


Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister Habib Ibrahim El Adly

Minister of the Interior

25 Al-Sheikh Rihan Street

Bab al-Louk

Cairo, Egypt

Fax: +20 2 279 0682


Salutation: Dear Minister

COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of Egypt accredited to your country.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 30 October 2007.