Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Egyptians Abroad: Human Rights Abuses of Traveling Egyptians

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights has updated two old reports with new material, bringing welcome attention to the fact that Egyptians can find their rights oppressed abroad as well as in Egypt. The report, "Egyptians Abroad: Lost Rights at Home and Abroad," focuses on the large number of cases in which Egyptians face unfair laws or an inability to get justice, particularly in the Gulf states. This is a long standing problem, one addressed often by Amnesty International.

What's new in this report is the growing concern about prison conditions Egyptians face abroad, including in the United States. While obviously the main problems rest abroad, the EOHR says the Egyptian government is also to blame: "From the events that took place, many Egyptians are evidently in Arab and foreign prisons, and they are kept inside the prisons detained with inhuman treatment. The main reason is that Egyptian embassies ignore their presence and do not intervene rapidly and effectively to protect them from prison and the loss of their rights, beside that many of them face murder or stealing," the report said.

The report cites several examples. One is of Mohamed Farag Ahmed Nada, who appears to be caught in no man's land in the Egyptian and Saudi legal systems. The Saudi's arrested him on the basis of an Egyptian Interpol request, the EOHR says, but then that decision was reversed. The Saudi's didn't release him, and the Egyptian's came back with another request. No trial has been held, no charges formally made, but Mohamed Farag Ahmed Nada remains in Saudi detention for the past two years.

Several cases involved the United States: Nabil Ahmed Ahmed Algendy worked in the U.S. since 1979, married and had a son. After 9/11, he found himself arrested and set for deportation. He has been held detained for three years while the order works its way through the court system. He is currently being held in Huston County Prison in New York.

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