November 12, 2008

Sinai Perils

Risks to Migrants, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers in Egypt and Israel

I. Summary
II. Recommendations
III. Background: Egypt's and Israel's Refugee and Asylum Seeker Populations
International Legal Obligations Toward Refugees
IV. Reasons for the Journey
Sudanese Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Security problems in Egypt
Lack of durable solutions
Horn of Africa Refugees and Asylum seekers
V. Egypt's Lethal Border Control Policy in Sinai, and Israeli Pressure for Border Control and Returns
June 2007: Policies Toughen
Egypt's Efforts to Justify Lethal Force at the Border
Egypt in breach of international standards on use of force
Families terrorized and separated at the border
Little evidence of deterrent effect
The Situation for the Wounded Who Reach Israel
Israel's "Coordinated Immediate Returns"
"Hot returns" by Israel
"Coordinated immediate returns" policy
VI. Egyptian Treatment of Those Detained
Use of Military Tribunals to Try Civilians
Separation of families
Denial of Access to Asylum Procedures
Conditions of Detention
Inadequate medical care
Conditions for women detained with their children pretrial
Detention of unaccompanied children with adults
VII. Treatment of Refugees, Asylum Seekers, and Migrants in Israel
Israel's Refugee Status Determination Process
Detention as default for illegal entrants at the Sinai border
The Entry into Israel law and individual status determination
Detention not a last resort
Prima facie asylum determination and temporary protection for some groups
Indefinite Detention Struck Down in 2007, Back in Prospect in 2008..
2007 Challenge to the Prevention of Infiltration Law..
Proposed Legislation Reinstating Indefinite Detention
Arrests of Asylum Seekers
Appendix: Fatalities