The Mass-Graves of African Refugees in Sinai-Egypt 2011..
EGYPT: Refugees hit by discrimination, violence amid heightened nationalism
CAIRO, 24 November 2011 (IRIN)
Refugees living in the Egyptian capital Cairo have faced more discrimination and less help from the authorities since a popular uprising overthrew former president Hosni Mubarak, according to community leaders.
Personal safety on Cairo's streets has worsened for Egyptians and foreigners alike since the protests in January and February, which have been re-ignited in recent days - but refugees have been particularly vulnerable.
"Generally, there's no security on the streets," said Klovirt Jalo, chairman of Nuba Mountains International Association, a community organization for the Nuba of Sudan in Cairo.
Although violent incidents have decreased in recent months, incidents of harassment and discrimination towards refugees have not returned to pre-January levels, said Omar, a Somali refugee, who preferred a pseudonym because of the nature of his work. As police crack down on what Egyptian protesters are now calling a second revolution, the situation for refugees could deteriorate.
Refugees who spoke to Agnes Czajka, a professor at the American University in Cairo, during research she conducted in the summer, said they feared violence and harassment would increase during the elections due on 28 November.
Jalo said the police had been less than willing to deal with incidents reported by refugees or undocumented migrants since January. He cited a recent hit-and-run case in which a Sudanese woman was killed. "The police did not believe us," he said, so no police report could be filed.
Before the January protests, Omar said, "if you paid a bribe, the police would help you. Now, they'll keep the bribe and do nothing."