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Sudan deports at least 20 Egyptian dissidents to Cairo, says rights group

Women and children among those sent to Egypt despite risk of human rights abuses
Sudan’s military leader, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti), gives a press conference at the airport in Khartoum, on 2 March 2022 (AFP)

Sudan on Saturday deported at least 20 Egyptian nationals to Cairo despite risks that they may be detained and tortured in government custody, a rights group told Middle East Eye.

According to the Geneva-based Committee for Justice rights watchdog, those deported have been tried in absentia in connection with cases it described as politically motivated.

One of those deported, identified as Muhammad Ibrahim, was deported with his wife, three sons and three daughters. He had been detained in Sudan for a year and nine months, together with his eldest son.

Two other men identified by CFJ are Essam Abdel Gaid Diab Sayed and Akram Abdel-Badi’ Ahmed Mahmoud, both wanted on terrorism charges.

akram mahmoud egypt
A passport photo of Akram Mahmoud (supplied by CFJ)

Middle East Eye could not independently verify the charges or the men's identities.

Earlier this year, Sudanese authorities detained an Egyptian dissident while he was applying for a permit to leave the country, and Hossam Sallam, another Egyptian opposition activist, was arrested in Luxor after his plane was forced to undertake an emergency landing while en route from Sudan to Turkey. 

Many Egyptian dissidents sought refuge in Sudan after the 2013 military coup that removed late president Mohamed Morsi from power. The coup was led by General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who is now president and is an ally of Sudan's current military leaders. 

Morsi was a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and many of those who fled to neighbouring Sudan were members or supporters of the opposition group, now proscribed as a "terrorist organisation" by the Sisi government.

Sisi has been accused by Human Rights Watch (HRW) of holding at least 60,000 political prisoners since he came to power in 2013. 

The group said that the former army general has overseen the worst crackdown on human rights in the country's modern history. He has justified the crackdown as part of his "war on terror".

HRW's World Report 2022 said Egypt's security forces have regularly acted with impunity, routinely conducting arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, and torture of real or suspected political activists as well as ordinary citizens.