Since June 2007, Egyptian border guards have killed at least 32 African migrants trying to cross into Israel, and Israel has forcibly returned at least 139 border crossers to Egypt, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released Nov. 12. Egypt has detained those returned, not revealed their whereabouts, and reportedly deported some to their home countries where they face a substantial risk of persecution. In the 90-page report, "Sinai Perils: Risks to Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Egypt and Israel," Human Rights Watch called on Egypt to halt the use of lethal force against border crossers and all deportations of persons to countries where they risk persecution or ill-treatment. Israel should halt forced returns of migrants to Egypt, where they face military court trials and possible unlawful deportation to their countries of origin. Both countries should respect the rights of persons seeking asylum. "Sinai Perils" documents numerous cases in which Egyptian border guards shot unarmed migrants, including children, as they tried to cross the Sinai border into Israel. The report says that, in Egypt, authorities separate migrant families and incarcerate them, including children, in poor conditions.

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