Egypt police kill two Africans on Sinai border
Joseph Mayton | 22 January 2012
CAIRO: Egyptian police killed two African migrants on the Sinai border with Israel on Saturday, Egyptian security sources told Bikyamasr.com.
The migrants had been allegedly attempting to sneak into Israel via the porous border between the two countries.
The victims, a man and a woman, whose nationality was not disclosed, reportedly failed to respond to police warnings as they tried to cross the border.
Egyptian police then opened fire on the migrants. A third migrant was injured, the source said.
Many African migrants try to cross to Israel every year through Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula seeking a better life.
Egypt’s border security has been repeatedly criticized for its “shoot first” strategy in dealing with migrants attempting to cross into the Jewish state, as they often do not issue verbal warnings first and fire at the Africans.
Israel says that approximately 10,000 Africans have entered the country illegally via Egyptian borders over the past few years.
Africans in Egypt complain of poor living conditions and bad treatment at the hands of their host nation. Many see Israel as the next best solution for their troubles and are willing to risk death to reach the Jewish state, refugees in Egypt have repeatedly said.
Ali, a Somali refugee in Cairo, told Bikyamasr.com that living in Egypt is “one of the worst things I have experienced in my life.” He points to racism and lack of opportunities as the main hardships.
He was the victim of police’s heavy hand in Egypt a few years ago when he and two roommates were held in connection with the murder of an elderly man in their building. According to Ali, the two Somali men and one woman were detained for 9 months without charge and were “tortured on a regular basis.” He says life is hard.
“I know a lot of people who would rather risk being killed on the border than continue to sit around Cairo and be faced with all these troubles because of our status. We can’t even work,” he said.
Dozens of Africans have been shot dead by Egyptian police in recent years, as refugees and migrants continue to complain of poor treatment and conditions inside Egypt.