Egypt Kills Another African Migrant Attempting to Cross to Israel

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Dec 1 2009

Bikya Masr reported today about another case when Egypt's border guards shot an African migrant to death as he attempted to cross the border to Israel. This is the 17th reported case of a migrant being shot to death by Egyptian soldiers since May 2009, and the second killing in just two weeks.

During 2008, according to Amnesty International, there have 28 killings on the border and 30 more cases of injury to migrants or refugees. In a recent report by the UN's IRIN News, an Israeli migrant rights activist said that based on interviews with asylum seekers and IDF soldiers, she "strongly believes there are hundreds of unreported dead and wounded [at the border]".

Migrants who suffer from racism, discrimination and poverty in Egypt attempt to cross to Israel, even at the risk of losing their lives, in the hope of having better living standards there. They pay smugglers up to $500 to get them across the 200km border between Israel and Sinai.

These shootings are a clear violation of international law, since law enforcement officials may use lethal force only as a proportional and necessary response to a threat to life. Those migrants and refugees, who are shot without carrying any weapons, do not pose any threat to the Egyptian guards.

Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East