Reuters: “Egypt plans to deport Chechens…”
Egypt plans to deport the son of a Chechen rebel leader and five other Chechens to Russia, Amnesty International said on Wednesday, expressing concern they may be tortured on their return.
The rights group said Egypt intends to forcibly return 22 year-old Maskhud Abdullaev to Moscow on Friday, along with five other Chechen students who attended Cairo’s al-Azhar University.
The Egyptian Interior Ministry directed inquiries to the Office for Emigration and Passports, which confirmed six Russian nationals were being held there and would be deported on Friday.
Amnesty said all claimed refugee status in Azerbaijan before moving to Egypt to study. Their requests to be flown to Azerbaijan have been denied, Amnesty said.
Amnesty said around 35 Russian students, mainly from Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan, were arrested in late May during a wave of detentions of foreign students at Al Azhar.
The group said four other Russian nationals arrested in the blitz aimed at foreign students suspected of links to a bomb attack in February were deported last week, and the location of one remains unknown.
Abdullaev is the son of Supyan Abdullaev, the leader of an armed Chechen group opposing to Moscow’s control of the region. In addition to calling for the students to not be forcibly returned, Amnesty said Egypt should grant them access to lawyers of their choice and representatives from the U.N. refugee agency.
Egypt has this year deported up to 1,200 African migrants, including at least 64 Eritreans despite concerns they could face torture at home. Egyptian police have shot and killed 28 African migrants in 2009, mostly on the border with Israel.
(Reporting by Alastair Sharp)
Source: Reuters / 17.06.2009