Palestinian refugees who fled war-torn Syria have been subjected to a fragile legal status in Egypt.
Activists and relatives of a Palestinian refugee from Syria have appealed to the Palestine Embassy in Egypt, human rights organizations, and civil society institutions to urge the Egyptian authorities to release her from prison.
The family of Hafidha Husain AlSoutari, born in 1967, said she has been held in an Egyptian detention center in Aswan since August 1, 2019 over charges of illegally entering Egypt through Sudan.
Hafida reportedly suffers serious health disorders and needs special medical treatment. Her family has appealed to the international humanitarian organizations to pressurize the Egyptian government to take urgent action in response to their appeals and save their daughter before it is too late.
Palestinian refugees who fled war-torn Syria have been subjected to a fragile legal status in Egypt, where they are treated as foreigners rather than asylum-seekers fleeing war-stricken zones. They have been denied the right to legal visas, refugee documents, safe accommodation, basic services, and relief assistance.
Those who illegally entered Egypt via the Sudanese borders have been denied the right to free movement, education, and labor, among other basic necessities. Unlike Syrian nationals, who are granted safe asylum in Egypt and systematically assisted by the UNHCR, Palestinian refugees are left on their own.
As a result, the number of Palestinians who fled war-torn Syria to Egypt has dramatically shrunk back over the past three years. Rights data indicates that the number in 2018 was estimated at 3,500, down from over 6,000 in recent years. Some 500 refugees illegally entered Egypt through Sudan.