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[Published: Sunday August 31 2008]

Israel deports Africanmigrants

Cairo , 1 Sept-(ANA)- Dozens of Africanmigrants who had slipped into Israelfrom Egypthave been forcibly returned, rights activists have said.

The activists say theyfear some are refugees who risk torture if Egypt sends them home as expected.

Egyptian securitysources said Israel hadreturned 48 migrants of Eritrean, Sudanese and Senegalese nationality to Egypt this month, and that Cairo planned to deport them all.

The Israeli returnscome as Egyptis under scrutiny by rights groups over its deportations of up to 1,200Eritrean asylum seekers in June. The United Nations objected to thedeportations, saying the Eritreans could face torture at home.

"It's clearly aflagrant violation of international law," Hossam Bahgat, head of theEgyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, said of the Israeli move.

He said the returnsmeant the migrants were now certain to be deported by Egypt "to countries where theyface a serious threat of detention, torture and even the death penalty".(ANA)

FA/ANA/1 September2008---

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