Sudan: Detained Sudanese Refugees in Niger 'Subjected to Inhumane and Degrading Treatment'

Niger Agadez — Some 400 Sudanese refugees detained in Niger claim to have been subjected to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment. They were arrested during the break-up of their sit-in in Agadez two weeks ago.

One of the detainees told Radio Dabanga that the detainees have got no defense lawyer to defend them. They were arrested during the police breaking up the sit-in in front of the UNHCR headquarters. He explained that they were interrogated by police without the presence of defense lawyers. "The media is silent about our suffering," he said.

He confirmed that the members of the media committee of the sit-in have being subjected to very degrading treatment, and they face a series of continuous investigations and interrogations. He also confirmed the deportation or relocation of nine of the detainees to an unknown place.

The refugees at the sit-in in front of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Agadez office protested against the living conditions in their camp in the desert. The sit-in lasted three weeks before it was broken up by the police.

In Juanuary 6, Radio Dabanga reported that Niger security forces broke up the sit-in set up by Sudanese refugees in front of the offices of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Agadez on Saturday, reportedly using excessive violence. About 453 refugees were detained. 230 refugees suffered various injuries. Army officers and policemen stole 670 mobile phones from them, a refugee told Radio Dabanga.

In mid-December Radio Dabanga reported that hundreds of Sudanese refugees marched 18 kilometres from Agadez in Niger to the headquarters of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in protest against the deteriorating humanitarian aid and health conditions and the slow pace of resettlement procedures.

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