A Sudanese refugee who has faced harassment after gathering testimonies of alleged war crimes in his native Darfur could be deported from Egypt, colleagues say.
Mohamed Suliman Mohamed, a refugee from Nyala in the Sudanese state of South Darfur, was arrested by Egyptian security forces on 25 July, according to Sudanese activist Bashir Suliman.
Suliman told Ahram Online that Mohamed, who had been living in Egypt since 2004, had been subject to “harassment” from the Sudanese embassy for several years, which intensified a year ago.
“Mohamed was coordinating with Abu Talib Hassan Iman, a Darfurian laywer, who is working with the International Criminal Court…to gather information about victims of genocide in Darfur who live in Cairo,” said Suliman, who is a member of the Cairo-based Sudan Center for Contemporary Research and Development (SCC).
“He told us he faced a lot of harassment from the Sudanese embassy, in the streets, or in his cell phone…and finally they captured him in the airport.”
According to Suliman, who has spoken to Mohamed by phone since his arrest, Mohamed was arrested at Cairo International Airport and remains in detention at the site.
“I know he spoke to someone from UNHCR protection team but they were not allowed to meet him at the airport,” he added.
UNHCR’s Egypt office told Ahram Online that it is “following the case of Mohamed Suliman with the Egyptian authorities and the community in order to avoid his deportation.”
Deportation of a refugee to the country where they were persecuted is a breach of the international refugee convention, to which Egypt is a signatory.
Suliman told Ahram Online that a number of refugees in Cairo who work on human rights issues have faced harassment by Sudanese authorities.
In May 2011, Moneim Suliman Atron, a Sudanese refugee and then director of the SCC, was similarly arrested and threatened with deportation from Egypt to Sudan. Following international pressure, he and his family were resettled to Norway.
Sudanese foreign affairs spokesman Abu-Bakr Al-Sideeq could not be reached for comment.