Ambassador Alia Hatoug Boura and his Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein: Stop the Jordanian government from deporting hundreds of Darfuri refugees in Jordan to Sudan.
The Jordanian government and UNHCR in Jordan must respect international laws and protect the genocide affected refugees from Sudan.
We are writing to express our grave concern about the situation of the Darfuri and the Sudanese refugees in Amman, Jordan and demand protection and dignified treatment pursuant to international human rights law. This morning we learned that hundreds of Sudanese refugees participated in a sit-in in front of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees office in Jordan to demand protection. Unfortunately, they were met with a crackdown by the Jordanian police. They were severely beaten, arrested, forced into huge buses and taken to the airport to be deported today to Sudan. 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 female-headed homes along with their children and young people who have been targeted by the government of Sudan. Please sign my petition to demand the Jordanian Government to take action and stop the deportation of the Darfuri refugees!
Background: The genocide that began twelve years ago in Darfur continues unabated today. Over four million people have been affected; over three million have been forced out of their homes and live in internally displaced camps in dangerous conditions. Over 80% of the population in refugee camps is women and children. The camps lack any humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping missions have failed to protect the vulnerable. Rape has been used as a weapon of war and women and girls remain the main targets. On one day alone, October 31, 2014, 221 women were raped in Tabit village. The perpetrators have suffered NO consequences. The world may think that the crisis in Darfur has ended because it is not being reported in the news, but the truth is that over 460,000 Darfuris were displaced in 2013 and another 500,000 were displaced in 2014. Over 200,000 people were displaced in the first quarter of 2015. Nearly one million people have fled Darfur and are currently living as refugees in the neighboring countries; over 377,000 are in Chad alone and the rest have been scattered in Jordan, Egypt, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Central African Republic and are clearly living in critical conditions.
In addition, since 2011 the Sudanese government extended its attack against the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile where nearly a million people have been forced out of their homes and are living in dangerous caves, while others crossed the border to become refugees in neighboring countries. 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 with impunity. He has isolated Darfur from journalists and international visitors, preventing the media coverage that might expose his continuing crimes.
The Sudan government has been successful in isolating Darfur from the outside world and has blocked aid assistance for both Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile states. Since they are not in the news, the world may think the crisis has been resolved and, therefore, Darfur refugees have been treated with less urgency and their rights have been constantly violated. Darfur and Sudanese refugees from Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile and many others who have been threatened with killing and prosecution, today are facing the same prosecution that they have fled in the first place. We are gravely concerned about the safety of hundreds of these refugees in Jordan today. We believe that if they are deported back to Sudan, they most likely will be killed, imprisoned and/or subjected to torture.
Accordingly, we call on the Jordanian government to undertake the following steps pursuant to international human rights and humanitarian laws:
Immediately stop the deportation of the refugees from Sudan.
Grant all refugees equal protection and dignified treatment as is present for other refugees from the Middle East.
Support UNHCR to expedite the process of relocation of recognized refugees.
Stop the police’s degrading treatment and torture and then release all the detainees and prisoners.
We greatly appreciate your consideration.
Niemat Ahmadi, President of Darfur Women Action Group
Darfur Women Action Group
1050 17th St NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20036