Egypt and Sudan must make urgent and concerted efforts to stop asylum-seekers and refugees being kidnapped from camps in Sudan, forcibly transported to Egypt, and being severely abused in the Sinai desert, Amnesty International said in a new briefing.
For over two years, refugees and asylum-seekers have been kidnapped from in and around the Shagarab refugee camps in eastern Sudan, near the Eritrean border. The vast majority of victims are Eritrean. They are then trafficked to Egypt’s Sinai desert, where they are held captive by Bedouin criminal gangs while ransom payments are demanded from their families.
Amnesty International has received repeated reports of brutal violence used against captives in Sinai, including rape and sexual abuse, beatings, burning and other violent and cruel treatment.
The captors reportedly telephone their victims’ relatives while inflicting violence in order to extort money, often demanding ransoms of up to USD 30-40,000.