Sudanese refugee recounts forced deportation from Jordan

CAIRO -- Ahmed Doury and his wife had fled their home in Sudan's Darfur region for safety in Jordan. But after Jordanian security forces violently rounded up and deported them and other Sudanese asylum seekers, the 32-year-old says he's now more determined than ever to go to Europe.

See Full Article

"I will take the sea ... I will get out of here by any means necessary," he said Sunday, adding that it was the only thing he could think about on the flight back to Sudan.

Speaking by telephone from the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, he recounted the deportation to The Associated Press with a solemn voice.

Doury had gone to Jordan in 2014, fleeing death threats for his tribal and ethnic ties in the war-devastated Darfur region. He registered as a refugee with the United Nations and worked intermittent menial jobs in the Jordanian capital, Amman, to support himself and his wife.

Feeling discriminated against by authorities, the two joined a makeshift camp outside the U.N. headquarters where other Sudanese were living. On Wednesday, Jordanian security forces stormed the camp, tore it down and forced the asylum seekers onto vans headed to the airport.

The camp's proximity to the U.N. headquarters had given the group a false sense of safety, he explained.

"We have no trust in the U.N. anymore after what happened. No one did anything to help us," Doury said, echoing a view widely held among Sudanese refugees in Jordan.

"Everyone was beaten ... they stepped on the people who fell down," he said. The troops marched in early in the morning, swearing and indiscriminately beating its inhabitants with rubber and electric batons, he said. They fired tear gas and rubber bullets and at one point shoved a pregnant woman to the ground. She fell, broke a leg and went into labour, he said.

Once dispersed, the Sudanese were driven to a holding bay near the country's international airport in vans "so crammed, (they) were barely able to breathe." Although all the asylum seekers were in metal or plastic handcuffs, Jordanian security continued to beat them at the holding area, and the trauma caused another pregnant woman to go into labour, he said.

On Friday, they were put onto planes taking them back to Sudan.

Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed Momani denied the use of force against the refugees.

U.N. spokeswoman Aoife McDonnell said they believe the majority of those deported were registered refugees. Exact numbers were not available but the U.N. is "concerned about their status and the fear and apprehension that will pervade the remaining community here," she said.

The agency says majority of some 3,500 Sudanese in Jordan are from the troubled Darfur region where they risk being persecuted.

The U.N. had warned Jordan that the deportations violate international laws, but the Jordanian government said Friday that those deported had come under the pretext of seeking medical treatment and that asylum protection did not apply to them.

Some 120 Sudanese managed to escape the dispersal and are now on the run in Jordan.

Doury said most of the Sudanese sent back were interrogated for at least two hours upon arrival in Khartoum and allowed to leave, but some have been detained indefinitely.

Doury said his wife, who is two months pregnant, was beaten in the break-up of the camp and now has pelvic and abdominal pain. "I am worried for the baby," he said, but added that they don't have money to see a doctor.

Being deported from Jordan may have given him and other asylum seekers the push they needed to brave the seas in search for a better life in Europe.

"This is indescribably bad situation," he said. "We tried the legal way, so now a lot of people will be trying the illegal way."

Associated Press writers Sam McNeil and Karin Laub in Amman, Jordan, contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Indigenous man says he was wrongly accused of being drunk, kicked off Greyhound bus

    Canada News CTV News
    An indigenous Manitoba man says he was forced to spend a frigid night wandering along the side of a highway after a Greyhound bus driver accused him of being intoxicated and left him stranded at a gas station. Source
  • N.S. leaders hitting ridings expected to be competitive in Tuesday's vote

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia's three major party leaders lobbied for every possible vote Sunday, targeting ridings that are expected to be highly competitive in Tuesday's provincial election. NDP Leader Gary Burrill visited a community food centre in the riding of Dartmouth-North, where candidate Susan Leblanc is expected to mount a stiff challenge to incumbent Liberal cabinet minister Joanne Bernard. Source
  • North Korea fires apparent ballistic missile: South Korea military

    World News Toronto Sun
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile that landed in Japan’s maritime economic zone Monday, officials said, the latest in a string of test launches as the North seeks to build nuclear-tipped ICBMs that can reach the U.S. Source
  • Trump eyes White House overhaul, outside lawyers and PR team

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump is considering overhauling his White House staff and bringing back top campaign strategists, frustrated by what he views as his team's inability to contain the burgeoning crisis involving alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Source
  • PM, Scheer talk Parliament, trade in first call after Conservative race [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — New Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s victory speech was peppered with attacks on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. But on Sunday, the two spoke by phone in the aftermath of Scheer’s win, one that now also makes him the official Opposition leader in the House of Commons. Source
  • Trump eyes White House staff overhaul [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is considering overhauling his White House staff and bringing back top campaign strategists, frustrated by what he views as his team’s inability to contain the burgeoning crisis involving alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Source
  • Stolen ambulance driver turns on sirens, leads police on 5-hour chase

    Canada News CTV News
    A 29-year-old man is in police custody after allegedly stealing an ambulance from an Ontario hospital and leading officers on a five-hour, 400-kilometre chase before they were able to stop the rogue emergency vehicle with a spike strip near a popular beach town. Source
  • Man steals ambulance, leads police on 5-hour chase

    Canada News CTV News
    A 29-year-old man is in police custody after allegedly stealing an ambulance from an Ontario hospital and leading officers on a five-hour, 400-kilometre chase before they were able to stop the rogue emergency vehicle with a spike strip near a popular beach town. Source
  • New candidates go head-to-head during NDP leadership debate

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — Two new candidates in the NDP leadership race wasted no time going toe-to-toe in their first appearance together Sunday at a leadership debate in Sudbury, Ont. Pat Stogran, who acquired a reputation for being outspoken as the former federal veterans ombudsman, challenged Ontario politician Jagmeet Singh after he suggested “an act of love” is required to connect with Canadian voters. Source
  • Navy SEAL dies during parachute demonstration over Hudson River

    World News Toronto Sun
    JERSEY CITY, N.J. — A Navy SEAL team member has died after his parachute failed to open during a Fleet Week demonstration over the Hudson River. A Navy spokesman said the accident occurred shortly after noon Sunday near Liberty State Park. Source