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Rights groups criticize detention of Syrians and Palestinians in Egypt

Egyptian rights groups have condemned the continuing detention of Syrians nationals in Egypt, who have been placed into custody despite having valid visas.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the twelve signatory NGOs say that a group of Syrian and Palestinian families were arrested while attempting to travel out of Egypt. They had fallen victim to a man who had promised them that he could help them reach Italy for US$4,000 each.

There are 34 children amongst the detainees, one of whom has Down Syndrome. In addition, the children and several other detainees are suffering from skin diseases due to lack of hygiene in what the NGOs describe as the inhumane conditions in which they are being held.

Brought before the public prosecutor, the group was accused of attempted illegal immigration out of the country. The public prosecutor ordered that the detainees be released and sent to the Interior Ministry’s Passports and Immigration Department. In coordination with state security investigations, the Passports and Immigration Department ordered that the detainees be released either to Lebanon, Syria, Turkey or Malaysia, with the Palestinians being sent either to Rafah or Malaysia.

AD