Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rafah Border Crossing is the initial torture gate for Palestinians and the road to nowhere

Supervisors at the crossing...

The Egyptian Rafah Border crossing is Still the only one among the land entry points with The Arab Republic of Egypt, which is controlled by elements of the Egyptian military intelligence in addition to the elements of A supreme security to allow the unfairly besieged Palestinians to cross through to enter the Egyptian territories to get education in Egyptian universities or international university , which takes Egypt a headquarters, or to get healthcare in Egyptian hospitals for urgent and emergency cases that do not get proper treatment in hospitals of the sector in light of the siege imposed on it by the occupying entity "Israel" the insurgent to international law, or to use it as a transit to go to an Arab or foreign country.

Security coordination...

To get an entry visa to Egypt the names of passengers should be subjected formally for coordination between the Egyptian authorities and the Palestinian government in the Gaza Strip dominant on the other side of the crossing but the physical controller in this format is the supreme security authorities in Egypt, which refused repeatedly to allow hundreds of Palestinians from entry or exit without Objective reasons for such unjust refusal.
And so the Rafah border crossing is the only exception which is not supervised by the Department of Passports and Migration of the Egyptian Interior Ministry, just like each of the International Salloum border crossing on the Libyan border and the border crossings of Taba and Awja at The Occupied Palestinian territories border which is controlled by the Israeli occupation forces, or The Arquen Border crossing at the west on the Sudanese border.

Insults and arbitrary detentions...

The international law and the Charter of the United Nations confirms on respecting the human rights and dignity, regardless to religion, nationality, race, language or political affiliation, national or social origin as it is the recognized human rights and it's not Permissible to plot the human dignity or detain humans arbitrary or illegally as in the Charter of the United Nations.

However, these basic principles of international law are not actually implemented in the Egyptian Rafah Border crossing and it is completely ignored, which considers as a flagrant violation of the principles and standards of human rights.

The Palestinian Human Rights Foundation (Monitor) Has documented Many of the inhuman violations in this regard, which represents in explicit and content an affront to the dignity of the Palestinian citizen at the Egyptian side, as follows:

1- Using insults and vulgarity, which is beyond the public morals

2- Keeping who wants to transit for long time up to 10 hours without providing any explanation or clarification and it happens all the year long, whether in hot summer or cold winter in what is known by the term (stuck in the crossing).

3- There are no regards for humanitarian cases such as the elderly, "the old men and women" in addition to the patient cases that require urgently going through check-in procedures and children under age of twelve and women.

4- Self-inspection, especially for women, according to eyewitnesses.

Expulsion not transit…

The International law provides that the use of land border crossings, air and even sea in the case of transit, "the use of time does not exceed 24 hours to go to a third country which serves as an acquired right for the traveler, regardless to nationality, religion or race, or language as long as he does not represent a threat to the security of the country he is passing by, and the traveler complies with the international laws which provide for protection and comfort for him and not to interfere with any form of mistreatment, intimidation or illegal detention.

But we find that these international humanitarian principles and internationally recognized signed by the Arab Republic of Egypt in several international conventions do not get applied on the Palestinians who want to go to an Arab or foreign countries through the use of the Cairo International Airport, as the security authorities deport those passengers in locked buses under heavy security, with confiscation of passports, which considered as a flagrant violation of international and Egyptian laws which do not permit the confiscation of a passport of any traveler.

The expulsion takes about 5 hours from the crossing to The Cairo International Airport with a rest period does not exceed 20 minutes, and it's not allowed to the Palestinian travelers to walk out of buses, only after showing supplication And obtestation expressions to the commander of the security force to let them go to the restroom and it's only permitted for the elderly.


The Palestinian Human Rights foundation (Monitor) calls upon the Egyptian government to immediately intervene to facilitate the traffic of The Palestinian citizens in the exit and entry of the crossing, just like the high treatment received by the citizens of Arab and foreign countries in the rest of the Egyptian state.


The Palestinian Human Rights Foundation (Monitor) Recommends applying the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was signed officially by the Arab Republic of Egypt in addition to this the Egyptian state has signed the International Covenants on Civil, Political and economic Rights as well as it pledged to adhere to the principles and standards of the Arab Charter for Human Rights in the sixteenth Arab Summit in Tunisia in 2004.

1- Implementation of the Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides for non-discrimination as to race, nationality, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, or birth, without differentiating between men and women.

2- Implementation of the Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which prohibits torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.

3- Implementation of Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that all people are equal under law and entitled to equal protection without any discrimination.

4- the application of Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that everyone has the freedom to leave any country including his country without any local or international hindrance.

5- Implementation of the principle of work equivalent in the Rafah international crossing, such like the work in the other ports on The Arab Republic of Egypt like in Cairo International airport and the land crossings.

From this point we urge the need of the Arab Republic of Egypt to commit to the following items of the Arab Charter for Human Rights, which it has signed in Tunis in 2004:

1- the Implementation of the first item of Article 8, that it is strictly prohibits degrading dignity or inhumane treatment and prohibits to harm anyone physically or psychologically or cruel or degrading treatment.

2- The Implementation of Article 27, which provides for:

1 - No one shall be arbitrarily or illegally prevented from leaving any country including his own, or impose a ban on his residence at any where, or compelled to reside in this country.

2 - No one shall be deported from his country or prevented from returning to it.

Report by Palestinian Human Rights Foundation
Arabic version
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