Amnesty International is greatly concerned for the safety and security of refugees and asylum-seekers held captive in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, after being kidnapped in and around the Shagarab refugee camps in eastern Sudan. In Sinai they are subjected to brutal violence and inhuman treatment during attempts to extract ransom payments from their families.
Amnesty International has received numerous reports since 2011 of kidnappings of Shagarab camp residents, with further incidents of kidnapping occurring in January this year. Most of those kidnapped have been forcibly taken out of Sudan over the border into Egypt, in most cases to the Sinai region. The majority of the victims report that they are sold between different criminal groups along the route.
In the Sinai they are held captive while ransom payments are extorted from their relatives. According to testimonies and information received by Amnesty International, during their captivity they are subjected to acts of extreme violence and brutality, including rape of men and women and other forms of sexual violence. Some of those who are unable to pay a ransom are killed. Some die as a result of ill-treatment or the terrible conditions of their captivity.
How much evil is man capable of perpetrating on each other? Displaced, victims of horrific civil, social and economic unrest become victims of further brutal acts.
God tells us to love justice and mercy, to care for the weakest and marginalized. When will we seek justice for those who are caught in these traps of violence, even as they run from other forms of loss, destruction and pain?
Seek God for workers to care for these refugees, for governments to be challenged to accept their responsibilities, and for revelations of life and love to these broken people.