Human Rights Watch Tuesday released a disturbing report about the ongoing human trafficking and torture in eastern Sudan and Egypt, urging authorities of both countries to finally take effective steps to stop the atrocities. The 79-page report “’I Wanted to Lie Down and Die’: Trafficking and Torture of Eritreans in Sudan and Egypt” documents how for years Egyptian traffickers have tortured Eritreans for ransom in the Sinai Peninsula, including through rape, burning and mutilation. It also documents torture by traffickers in eastern Sudan and 29 incidents in which victims told Human Rights Watch that Sudanese and Egyptian security officers facilitated trafficker abuses rather than arresting them and rescuing their victims. Human Rights Watch speaks of thousands of Eritreans who have been kidnapped and subjected to unbearable violence in the Sinai Peninsula, and the organisation has received new reports as recently as November 2013 and January 2014.
“Egyptian officials have for years denied the horrific abuse of refugees going on under their noses in Sinai,” said Gerry Simpson, senior refugee researcher for Human Rights Watch and author of the report. “Both Egypt and Sudan need to put an end to torture and extortion of Eritreans on their territory, and to prosecute traffickers and any security officials colluding with them.”