Djibouti: Detention of Refugees and Fear of Deportation


HRLHA Urgent Action

May 30, 2013

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) would like to express its deep concern regarding the current situation of nine Ethiopian refugees arrested and detained in the neighboring country of Djibouti.

According to HRLHA correspondent in Djibouti, the nine Ethiopian refugees (listed below) were arrested on the 22nd of May, 2013 in front of the UNHCR Office, Djibouti branch, where they had been for the renewal of their refugee identification cards. Until the time of the issuance of this URGENT ACTION, families and friends of those refugees have not been able to see and/or communicate with them since they were arrested and detained.

1. Izadin Madad Mahamed 479 – 09C00243
2. Abdallah Adil Mohamed 719/3
3 Ayelech Gelaw Abebew (Female) 479 – 13C00019
4 Ahmed Hassen Abdi 479 – 12C00395
5 Tadelech Adnew Abayneh 479 – 12C00412
6 Galil Ahmed Zaimed 479 – 11C00263
7 Truneh Tesema Sisay 479 – 12C00072
8 Abdi Yasin Abden _______
9 Mohamed Amin Hassen ________

Among the nine refugees, Mr. Abdallah Adil Mohamed is said to have been waiting for his appointment date, which is the 30th of May, 2013, with the Canadian Consulate in Djibouti for an immigration interview. The HRLHA has also learnt through its correspondent that the detained refugees have gone on hunger strike as of May 27, 2013, presumably as a result of extreme frustration. Based on related past experiences and the involvement of Ethiopian security agents in the arrest and detention of those refugees, there is a high level of fear that the government of Djibouti might deport the detained refugees back to Ethiopia,.

The current hot weather of Djibouti added to the detained refugees’ going on hunger strike, makes the safety and wellbeing of those refugees very questionable.

Therefore, HRLHA calls up on the government of Djibouti to unconditionally release the detained Ethiopian refugees from detention. We also request that the government of Djibouti abide by all relevant international laws, treaties, and agreements, and allow those and all other refugees currently staying in its country to go on with their immigration processes with all protection and security that they are entitled to. We also call up on all regional and international human rights and diplomatic agencies to put necessary pressures on the Djibouti Government so that the detained refugees would be released immediately.


v  RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to the Djibouti Government, concerned Djibouti officials and  to diplomatic representatives in  Djibouti who are accredited to your country as swiftly as possible, in English,  In French  Language, or your own language expressing:

v  Your concern regarding the possibility of  apprehension and fear of torture of the citizens who are being held in  detention centers; and calling for their immediate and unconditional release;

v   Urging the Djibouti authorities to ensure that these detainees would be treated in accordance with the regional and international standards on the treatment of prisoners,

v  Abide to the International Conventions of the refugees and asylum seekers not to return a person to a place where they face torture or ill-treatment.

  • His Excellency Ismail Omar Guelleh

President of Djibouti


Copied to:

  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
    Case Postale 2500
    CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt


  • Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

United Nations Office at Geneva 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland Fax: + 41 22 917 9022 (

  • African Commission on Human and Peoples‘ Rights (ACHPR)

48 Kairaba Avenue, P.O.Box 673, Banjul, The Gambia.

Tel: (220) 4392 962 , 4372070, 4377721 – 23 Fax: (220) 4390 764



  • U.S. Department of State

Tom Fcansky – Foreign Affairs Officer

Email;>Washington, D.C. 20037

Tel: +1-202-261-8009

Fax: +1-202-261-8197

  • •Amnesty International – London

Clairy Beston

Telephone: +44-20-74135500

Fax number: +44-20-79561157

Email;- TGibson@amnesty.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

  • Human Rights Watch

Filix Horn/ Leslie Lefkow

Tel: +1-212-290-4700

Fax:+1-212-736-1300 Email:

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