Group urges Egypt to not deport refugees to Syria

January 18, 2013 - 4:32 PM

CAIRO (AP) — A New York-based rights group has urged Egyptian authorities not to repatriate asylum seekers to Syria, saying such a move would violate international laws since they could face violence and persecution in their home country.

Human Rights Watch says in a Friday report that two Palestinians held in Cairo International Airport are at risk of deportation to Syria, and could follow in the steps of two Syrians already deported. Egyptian authorities are also considering repatriating 13 other Syrians.

"Egypt may have a right to detain people temporarily or investigate them on grounds of false documentation but it may not under any circumstance return them to Syria," said Bill Frelick, HRW refugee director.

Egypt has provided protection for more than 13,000 refugees from Syria.