Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Help Karmooz Refugees , Do not Forget Them

Not less than 50 Syrian and Palestinian refugees are currently on a hunger strike since last February demanding their release from detention at Karmooz police station in Alexandria away from Egyptian media. Oh yes I knew about them through NGOs and foreign media not through local Egyptian media.
3-years old Hamza is detained with his 5 years
brother Omar and 1 year old sister Gori
along their mother "Karmooz Refugees"
The refugees have been in detention for more than 100 days after they attempted to immigrate illegally to Europe.

The tragedy started last 23 October 2014 when 74 refugees had left from Turkey by boat on 23 October aiming to reach Europe. Following a dispute between the smugglers, the refugees were left stranded on Nelson Island which is 4 km north of Abu Qir, Alexandria. After knowing what happened , The Center for Refugees Solidarity reported the incident to the Egyptian authorities in order to save the refugees.

On 1 November the Egyptian coast guards arrested those detainees and transferred them to Karmooz police station. On 5 November Egypt’s prosecutor general ordered their release.

The men's cell for refugees at Karmooz police station
"Karmooz Refugees" 
At the same time the National Security in Egypt issued an order to deport those refugees despite it is dangerous for both the Syrian and Palestinian refugees to return back to Syria.
Nevertheless the refugees were not released nor deported. They have been detained over 100 days in the police station. There are men , women, elderly as well children  who can not take it anymore.

Children inside detention try
to enjoy their time
Karmooz refugees
They are placed in two cells , one for men and one for women There are at least 7 children among the refugees including a-10 months and 8 women among the detained refugees.
Men's cell in Karmooz police station "Karmooz refugees
There are 15 minors among the detained refugees in total. According to Center for Refugees solidarity detaining minors is against the Egyptian laws as well UN General assembly resolutions.
“The ongoing detention of minors is a clear violation of the Egyptian Child Law No. 12 of 1996 and its amendment by Act 126 of 2008 as well as the GA Resolution No 45/113 on the UN Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty.” says the Center that follows the case on its official website.

When will they be released ?
"Karmooz refugees" 
On 9 February 2015 at least 52 refugees started an open strike to protest against their detention. On 28 February 20 of those hunger strikers ended their strike still the rest 32 refugees are still on a hunger strike. Already I am sorry that I did not cover what happened to those refugees earlier.

And Yes they got mobile phones , they allow the refugees to keep their mobile phones. Already human rights activists in Alexandria are trying their best to help them for months. You follow their updates on that Facebook page 

I think the least we can do some noise so the UNHCR intervenes.

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