Friday, December 30, 2005


Man, Where Is Thy Humanity: Egyptian Police Assault Sudanese Refugee Camp Killing 23

Ben Curtis/Associated Press
One Sudanese refugee, left, crying out as he was grabbed by riot policemen, as another, right, tried to hand over his child through a bus window after both were arrested by Egyptian security troops.

In an action that the New York Times tepidly deemed a raid, but in fact, ended up being a massacre, Egyptian police violently assaulted a Sudanese refugee encampment, killing 23 people, including children. Here are some of the gruesome details from the article.

"Egyptian riot police officers rushed into a crowd of unarmed Sudanese migrants early Friday morning, killing at least 23 people, including small children, after the group refused to leave a public park it had occupied for three months hoping to press United Nations officials to relocate them.

The Sudanese - thousands of men, women and children - were packed into what amounted to a traffic island in an upscale neighborhood. They had fled war-torn Sudan, but the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees office in Cairo - across the street from where they camped out - told them that they were not eligible for refugee status or for relocation because it was safe for them to return home.

When the officers charged, women and children tried to huddle together, and to hide under blankets as some men grabbed for anything - tree limbs, metal bars - struggling to fight back...

By nightfall... there were 23 dead, 7 of them children, 8 elderly, and 7 more women.

Cris Bouroncle/AFP -- Getty Images
Police turned water cannons and sticks on Sudanese camped for two months in a park in a bid to start new lives abroad.

The brutal fervor with which the Egyptian police carried out their assault on a cowering crowd of unarmed refugees is horrifying. Here on view is the helmeted and armored fist of the Egyptian state arrayed against women and children fleeing from a war torn homeland. What hope is there for the innocent when they are faced on one side by heartless bureaucrats at the UN and cruel security forces on the other? Ahead of them lies the very hell they fled and behind them their dead.

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