The Arab Organisation for Human Rights (AOHR) has raised concerns over what it described as a “hostile campaign” practiced by Egyptian media outlets against Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Egypt.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the AOHR said that the media campaign is related to tensions instigated by the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies in Palestine and Syria.
The organisation stated that it takes into consideration Egypt’s current exceptional situation; it said, however, that although some Palestinians and Syrians were affiliated with Brotherhood allies in their home countries, the hate speech and generalisation of the entirety Palestinians and Syrians was unacceptable.
AOHR also stated that precautionary measures the Egyptian state has enforced in regards to dealing with Palestinians and Syrians have limited their mobility. The organisation called for reversing such measures as soon as possible, and meanwhile decreasing their negative effect on refugees.
Egyptian authorities recently set new entry requirements for Syrian refugees, who must now have an Egyptian entry visa upon arrival. Previously, Syrians could enter the country with their passports alone.
AOHR also stated that the access of Palestinians living in the besieged Gaza to the outer world through the Rafah border crossing has been impeded.
The organisation said that the implementation of law is the best guarantee to protect human rights, and called on punishing all those involved in crimes regardless of their nationalities or affiliations.
AOHR also urged Egyptian media outlets to be careful about information regarding the involvement of Palestinians and Syrians in crimes committed within the past two weeks, stating that some cases reported by Egyptian media outlets were unfounded, and directly harmful to innocent, non-involved refugees, while other reports threatened the security of suspects.
Nine human rights organisations issued a statement on Saturday condemning “hate speech” from local media outlets against Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Egypt, describing it as “irresponsible” and as an “incitement that threatens more than 200,000 Syrian refugees living in Egypt under unenviable circumstances.”
The United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, also released a statement on Friday expressing its concernabout new visa requirements for Syrians seeking refuge in Egypt.