By RANA F. SWEISDEC. 18, 2015
U.N. Says 60 Million People Have Been Forced to Flee WarDEC. 18, 2015
Jordan Is Asked to Admit Thousands of Stranded SyriansDEC. 8, 2015
Government forces drive through a village in the Darfur region of Sudan, where Human Rights Watch says campaigns of mass killing and rape are again occurring.Report Details New Atrocities in Darfur by Sudanese Force
AMMAN, Jordan — The Jordanian authorities on Friday deported hundreds of Sudanese asylum seekers, most of them from the war-afflicted Darfur region, according to the United Nations and human rights groups.
The decision comes one month after the Sudanese began camping in front of the United Nations refugee agency building in Amman, demanding more aid from the United Nations and an acceleration of the process to resettle them in other countries.
“We have appealed and we continue to appeal to the government to stop the deportations from Jordan of Sudanese nationals who are registered with U.N.H.C.R. as refugees and asylum seekers,” Ariane Rummery, a spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, said by telephone on Friday.
According to the United Nations, more than 3,500 Sudanese had registered with the agency and as such had international protection. Ms. Rummery said 70 percent of those registered were from the Darfur region of Sudan, and their return there might put them at risk.
Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director for Human Rights Watch, said, “Jordan should not punish these Sudanese merely because they protested for better conditions and for resettlement considerations.”
A government spokesman, Mohammad Momani, confirmed on Friday that deportations were underway, saying that “430 of them have traveled to Sudan and the rest will follow.” He added that the asylum seekers initially entered the country for medical treatment, “but then asked for refugee status.”
At 4 a.m. on Wednesday, the police rounded up about 800 Sudanese from the encampment they had set up in front of the refugee agency and told them to board 14 buses to Queen Alia International Airport, according to Human Rights Watch.
Jordan hosts hundreds of thousands of refugees. More than 750,000 are registered with the United Nations refugee agency, and the vast majority are Syrians. Although Jordan has not signed the 1951 Refugee Convention, it is bound by the international principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits governments from returning people to places where they risk persecution, torture or exposure to inhumane treatment or punishment.
“The majority of these Sudanese have protection needs,” Ms. Rummery said. “They could possibly be sent back where they could face danger or persecution.” Around the world, the United Nations refugee agency has registered about 700,000 Sudanese; more than half of those are in the Middle East.
In a statement issued Friday, Amnesty International appealed to the Jordanian government to halt the forcible return of the Sudanese and said the deportation of the “Darfuris to Sudan is an absolute disgrace.”
The Sudanese are part of a global flow of people seeking a haven from violence. The number of people forced to flee war is expected to far surpass 60 million in 2015, the United Nations said on Friday, warning that violence is likely to push a record number of asylum seekers even higher in the coming year.
At least five million people were forcibly displaced from their homes in the first half of the year, adding to the 59.5 million displaced people the United Nations refugee agency had recorded by the end of 2014.
Most of the people on the move in 2015 were displaced within their own country, but as many as 839,000 fled across international borders in the first half of the year, more than a third of them trying to escape the war in Syria.
To make matters worse, the money available to help the increasing number of people fleeing conflict has fallen far below the level of need, AntÓnio Guterres, the departing United Nations high commissioner for refugees, said in Geneva. “It’s clear humanitarian actors are no longer able to provide the minimum support both in relation to core protection and lifesaving activities,” he said.
Nick Cumming-Bruce contributed reporting from Geneva.
A version of this article appears in print on December 19, 2015, on page A8 of the New York edition with the headline: Refugees Are Deported to Sudan by Jordan. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe
Urgent Appeal to Stop Deportation of Darfur refugees from Jordan to Sudan
December 18, 2015
President Barak Obama
Secretary of State John Kerry
Ambassador Samantha Power
Cc: Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Donald Booth
Re: Urgent Appeal to Stop Deportation of Darfur refugees from Jordan to Sudan
Dear Mr. President, Secretary of State Kerry, Ambassador Power and Special Envoy Booth,
I am writing to you with an urgent appeal to protect the long suffering Darfur refugees. Two days ago, we learned that hundreds of Sudanese refugees participated in a sit-in in front of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Jordan to demand protection. Unfortunately, they were met with a crackdown by the Jordanian police and were severely beaten, arrested, forced into huge buses and taken to the airport to be deported to Sudan today. Witnesses have reported that a woman suffered a miscarriage and some young men’s legs and hands were broken as a result of the beatings. Witnesses noted that a majority of these refugees are women, children and young people who have been targeted by the government of Sudan.
As of yesterday, approximately 400 Darfuri refugees continue to be illegally detained by Jordanian authorities, who have threatened to deport them with no legal or factual justifications. Reports from witnesses indicate that among those detained, there are many children without parents. The whereabouts of their parents remain unknown, and we fear they may have already been deported to Sudan.
A representative from the Sudanese Embassy, along with Jordanian government officials and police, ordered these refugees to give their IDs to a representative of the Sudanese government. The long history of systematic genocide and crimes against humanity committed by the State of Sudan against Darfuris was a valid reason for refusing to give their documents to that representative. In response, Jordanian Police fired intensive tear gas, and in an attempt to block it from spreading, a group of refugees closed the door. Jordanian officials bulldozed the warehouse, bringing down not only the door but also a wall, which killed five children and one adult and injured many more.
This morning, our contact in Jordan informed us that 430 Darfuris, most of whom are legal refugees documented and recognized by UNHCR, have been forced into three planes and deported back to Sudan. We fear these refugees will face imprisonment, torture and death. DWAG believes the actions taken by the Jordanian government violate International Human rights laws. It is completely unacceptable that the Jordanian government is cooperating with the genocidal government of Sudan, deporting legal refugees, and denying them their international and human rights.
Omar al-Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan, is accused of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. He continues to perpetrate these crimes and has isolated Darfur from journalists and international visitors, which prevents media coverage that might expose his continuing crimes. Since they are not in the news, Darfur refugees have been treated with less urgency and their rights are constantly violated. Darfur and Sudanese refugees who have been threatened with persecution and death are facing the same persecution that they fled from in the first place. We are gravely concerned about the safety of hundreds of these refugees in Jordan today. If they are deported back to Sudan, they will most likely be killed, imprisoned and/or subjected to torture.
The upcoming holiday season poses a high risk for this situation to remain unsolved, due to the fact that international institutions will be closed.
As representatives of the leading world government, we call on you to ensure that refugees who fled Genocide won’t be returned to Sudan to face death; We ask you to make it clear to Sudan that they cannot harm those refugees who have already been returned from Jordan.
· We call on you to provide protection to the genocide-affected refugees that currently live in other countries including Egypt, South Sudan, Chad, Ghana, Central African Republic and Jordan, and to ensure that their rights are being protected in accordance with International laws.
· We demand that you support the UNHCR in expediting the resettlement process of Darfuri refugees so they are relocated, protected and secured.
· We urge you to publicly denounce Jordan’s inhumane actions that have put the lives of hundreds of Darfuri refugees at risk.
We greatly appreciate any effort you could take to immediately stop the deportation of, and provide protection for, the victims of the long standing Genocide in Darfur.
Niemat Ahmadi, President of Darfur Women action Group
1050 17th Street NW. Suite 1000
202 496 1289, Email Niemat@darfurwomenaction.org