President Barak Obama
Secretary of State John Kerry
Ambassador Samantha Power
Cc: Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Donald Booth
Re: Urgent Appeal to Stop Deportation of Darfur refugees from Jordan to Sudan
Dear Mr. President, Secretary of State Kerry, Ambassador Power and Special Envoy Booth,
I am writing to you with an urgent appeal to protect the long suffering Darfur refugees. Two days ago, we learned that hundreds of Sudanese refugees participated in a sit-in in front of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Jordan to demand protection. Unfortunately, they were met with a crackdown by the Jordanian police and were severely beaten, arrested, forced into huge buses and taken to the airport to be deported to Sudan today. Witnesses have reported that a woman suffered a miscarriage and some young men’s legs and hands were broken as a result of the beatings. Witnesses noted that a majority of these refugees are women, children and young people who have been targeted by the government of Sudan.
As of yesterday, approximately 400 Darfuri refugees continue to be illegally detained by Jordanian authorities, who have threatened to deport them with no legal or factual justifications. Reports from witnesses indicate that among those detained, there are many children without parents. The whereabouts of their parents remain unknown, and we fear they may have already been deported to Sudan.
A representative from the Sudanese Embassy, along with Jordanian government officials and police, ordered these refugees to give their IDs to a representative of the Sudanese government. The long history of systematic genocide and crimes against humanity committed by the State of Sudan against Darfuris was a valid reason for refusing to give their documents to that representative. In response, Jordanian Police fired intensive tear gas, and in an attempt to block it from spreading, a group of refugees closed the door. Jordanian officials bulldozed the warehouse, bringing down not only the door but also a wall, which killed five children and one adult and injured many more.
This morning, our contact in Jordan informed us that 430 Darfuris, most of whom are legal refugees documented and recognized by UNHCR, have been forced into three planes and deported back to Sudan. We fear these refugees will face imprisonment, torture and death. DWAG believes the actions taken by the Jordanian government violate International Human rights laws. It is completely unacceptable that the Jordanian government is cooperating with the genocidal government of Sudan, deporting legal refugees, and denying them their international and human rights
Omar al-Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan, is accused of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. He continues to perpetrate these crimes and has isolated Darfur from journalists and international visitors, which prevents media coverage that might expose his continuing crimes. Since they are not in the news, Darfur refugees have been treated with less urgency and their rights are constantly violated. Darfur and Sudanese refugees who have been threatened with persecution and death are facing the same persecution that they fled from in the first place. We are gravely concerned about the safety of hundreds of these refugees in Jordan today. If they are deported back to Sudan, they will most likely be killed, imprisoned and/or subjected to torture.
The upcoming holiday season poses a high risk for this situation to remain unsolved, due to the fact that international institutions will be closed.
As representatives of the leading world government, we call on you to ensure that refugees who fled Genocide won’t be returned to Sudan to face death; We ask you to make it clear to Sudan that they cannot harm those refugees who have already been returned from Jordan.
– We call on you to provide protection to the genocide-affected refugees that currently live in other countries including Egypt, South Sudan, Chad, Ghana, Central African Republic and Jordan, and to ensure that their rights are being protected in accordance with International laws.
– We demand that you support the UNHCR in expediting the resettlement process of Darfuri refugees so they are relocated, protected and secured.
– We urge you to publicly denounce Jordan’s inhumane actions that have put the lives of hundreds of Darfuri refugees at risk.
We greatly appreciate any effort you could take to immediately stop the deportation of, and provide protection for, the victims of the long standing Genocide in Darfur.