Why was the Chadian refugee activist Mr. Alfred Djasnan arrested by the Egyptian police?

Chadian refugee and human rights defender Mr. Alfred DJasnan
Chadian refugee and human rights defender Mr. Alfred DJasnan

Statement from the African Refugee Rights Initiative

The “Refugees Platform in Egypt” received a statement from the African Refugees Rights Initiative, detailing the detention and arrest of Chadian refugee and human rights defender Mr. Alfred DJasnan, Director of the African Refugee Rights Initiative, an initiative concerned with supporting the voices of refugees and asylum seekers of African nationalities in Egypt.

RPE had expressed its concern about the kidnapping of the Chadian refugee and human rights defender DJasnan Alfred Camus, and expressed its concern for his life and condition, and demanded his release in a communication it published on May 16, and according to a report previously published by RPE, it was Two men in civilian clothes had kidnapped and taken Mr. Jasnan from his home to an unknown location last May 15, after publishing the page of the initiative he ran about a demonstration for people with mobility disabilities in front of the office of the UNHCR. Mr. Alfred was detained until May 22 . He was forcibly deported to Rwanda in violation of international treaties and covenants.

The following is the text of the statement that the RPE received from the African RefugeeS Rights Initiative IN English 

The Chadian journalist and activist has been living in Egypt with his refugee status for a decade without any problems.
The beginning of the problem began when Mr. Alfred Djasnan went to the UNHCR office to request a travel document which is a right recognized by the 1951 Geneva Convention and its 1967 protocols for asylum seekers recognized as refugees.

This request was rejected by the UNHCR, the staff affirms that the office does not issue travel documents for refugees and that any refugee who wishes to leave Egypt or travel must necessarily close his file provisionally before obtaining the right to travel, an astonishing thing and therefore contrary to the Geneva Convention on the status of refugee!?

It should be noted that Mr. Alfred Djasnan is the founding president of the African Refugees Rights Initiative created in October 2020 to peacefully claim the rights of African refugees in accordance with the legal standards of the Geneva Convention on Refugees.

Thanks to this initiative bringing together thousands of African refugees, Mr. Alfred and his colleagues denounced the bad practices of the UNHCR office in Egypt, which resembles a mafia and slavery office which only aims to exploit refugees and keep in captivity without at any time having the right to leave Egypt on pain of threats, such is the case of Mr. Alfred Djasnan.

It is May 15, 2023 at 5 p.m. local Cairo time, in the city of October 6 in the first district of the city, in Al Mahad street door 350, two plainclothes policemen approached the door of the house where find Mr. Alfred Djasnan, they knocked on the door saying it’s the police.

Alfred demanded the presence of the guard before opening the door. So the police brought the guard back and he opened the door.
The two police officers told Mr. Alfred that you must come with us to the police, this is how the kidnapping took place because it must be remembered, the police have no warrant authorizing them to come and arrest Mr. Alfred!

Spending two days in prison without knowing the reason for his arrest, Mr. Alfred found himself before the judge on May 17, 2023.
The judge asked Mr. Alfred what’s wrong?
Alfred replied to the judge: “I was at home and two plainclothes policemen came to arrest me! I have been a refugee in this country for a decade.”
I judge answered in a calm tone that’s fine I understood.
Leaving the courtroom, Alfred’s lawyer informed him that the judge had asked for his immediate release without delay because you don’t lock up a refugee who has broken no law.

According to the police complaint, they claim that Alfred’s residence card expired a month ago, while Mr. Alfred Djasnan in question is a refugee in Egypt and his UNHCR refugee card is valid until in 2025, it’s paradoxical isn’t it?
Despite the judge’s decision, the police kept Alfred in jail for another 5 days. One of the policemen asked Mr. Alfred, why do you criticize the Chadian regime? Are you rebellious? he goes so far as to claim that Afred is repatriated to Chad. It was then that Alfred understood that it was a plot organized by the Chadian regime, the police and the Egypt UNHCR to send him to Chad.

Mr. Alfred replied in a firm tone that he has refugee status and that he benefits from international protection and therefore that he can be repatriated to another country but not to Chad.
From Mr. Alfred’s arrest to his deportation to his chosen Rwanda, the UNHCR office in Egypt has failed to prove responsibility or send a lawyer to defend before the judge or even visit to Alfred in prison. Mr. Alfred’s refugee card and his malaria vaccination card were confiscated by the Egyptian police.

Two policemen whose names we reserve the right to give testify to Mr. Alfred that they were wrong to come to his house to arrest him but it is the decision of their leaders.
Surprisingly, the police and the UNHCR office in Egypt arranged to pay for the return ticket of Mr. Alfred’s deportation to Rwanda for the dates of May 22, 2023 and May 26, 2023.

Indeed, the UNHCR office in Egypt wanted to get rid of Mr. Alfred Djasnan who had become their pet peeve with his initiative for the rights of African refugees, which denounced the corruption, discrimination and exploitation of African refugees in Egypt.
Sending Alfred to Chad is therefore the right option for the UNHCR in Egypt and the police.
But unfortunately for them, the pressure from the media such as Al Jazeera, middleeasteye.net, mada misr, the citizens’ network, human rights organizations (Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch), the brotherhood of pan-Africans and committed activists eventually forced them to change their minds.

The great fear for the UNHCR office, Mr. Alfred’s initiative has brought together all the evidence as well as the handwritten petitions of the refugees to prosecute this office and its partners before the major international courts because these are humanitarian crimes which deserve punishment.
We will come back for more details if necessary.

By: African Refugees Rights Initiative

Most Read

latest releases



Subscribe to our newsletter

Dear users of the Refugee platform in Egypt, we are pleased to keep you informed of all important updates related to daily news, services, procedures, issues and reports. So that you can interact with them through your platforms on social media. If you wish to subscribe to our newsletter and see all that is new, register now.