Egypt police shoot dead African on border
Egypt police shoot dead African on border
Sunday, February 28,2010 22:45
By Bikya Masr Staff

CAIRO: Egyptian security officials along the lengthy Sinai border with Israel and Gaza have reported that an African migrant was shot and killed as he attempted to sneak into Israel illegally over Saturday evening. The killing is the 9th this year by security forces, who killed at least 19 African migrants in 2009, international rights groups have reported.

According to the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, the migrant was shot in the stomach and leg on Saturday night by guards stationed along the border. Police said the man had refused orders to stop while attempting to cross barbed wire marking the sensitive frontier, the source said.

It was not clear the man’s identity as he was not carrying any papers, but police say he is “most likely” an African migrant.

The Egyptian government has bolstered its border presence in recent years at the request of the Israeli government, who has repeatedly said Egypt must do more to end the illegal crossings of Africans into the Jewish state.

International and local rights groups have condemned the violence along the border, arguing that the migrants do not pose a security risk. New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has been outspoken on the use of violence, saying the Egyptian government should end its “shoot to stop policy.”

But Cairo has pressed on with using force. Earlier this year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed plans to build a barrier along its border with Egypt, saying he aimed to secure Israel’s “Jewish and democratic character.” Israel, he added, cannot allow “thousands of illegal workers to infiltrate Israel via the southern border and flood our country.”

Africans living in Egypt have long complained of poor conditions, a lack of employment opportunities, racism and difficulty in securing education for their children.