Challenges facing Syrian refugees in Egypt were discussed on Tuesday in a seminar organised by various concerned groups.
The National Council for Human Rights, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Arab Organisation for Human Rights addressed the challenges Syrian refugees face in Egypt in the seminar titled, “Syrian refugees in Egypt, mechanisms of protection and help.”
Syrian refugee, Soliman Mohamed, who was issued a yellow card by the UNHCR said this period is hard for refugees from Syria because they are getting less and less aid from civil society organisations.
In addition, the residence permits of many Syrian refugees in Egypt have expired and many are afraid that they would be deported or detained while attempting to renew their residences.
A Syrian refugee, who will not be named for his own protection and does not have a valid residence in Egypt, had said Egyptian authorities are putting lots of restrictions on Syrians attempting to open up businesses in Egypt, saying that many are not getting the security approvals needed to set up the businesses.
While the Egyptian Foreign Ministry says the number of Syrian refugees in Egypt is 300,000, the United Nations Refugee Agency said there are over 126,000 persons of concern.
On Monday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released an extensive report detailing the arbitrary detentions of 1,500 refugees, 1,200 of which were “coerced to depart, including dozens who have returned to Syria” and 300 remain arbitrarily detained, as of 4 November.
HRW urged Egyptian authorities to stop coercing refugees to leave, release the refugees who are held without charges, investigate the circumstances surrounding their arbitrary detention and compensate those who were arbitrarily detained.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Badr Abdelatty had said last October that Syrian refugees in Egypt are treated “in a dignified way … and receive the same treatment as Egyptians in regards to health care and education.” Hedenied any mistreatment of Syrian refugees in response to an Amnesty International report detailing the detention and deportation of refugees.