CAIRO - Egypt has been detaining Syrian refugees without charge and threatening to deport them in a climate of growing hostility since the army seized power last month, the rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Thursday.
Many of the 90,000 or more Syrians who have come to Egypt to escape their civil war have complained of harassment since Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was toppled on July 3, and fear they are being made scapegoats for Egypt's domestic troubles.
In particular, a flurry of media reports and government assertions that foreigners have infiltrated Egypt and are taking part in violence have sown widespread distrust.
Human Rights Watch, based in New York, said Egyptian police had arrested 72 Syrian men and nine boys on July 19 and 20 alone, including registered asylum seekers and at least nine with valid visas or residence permits. At least 14 were threatened with deportation.
There was no immediate comment from Egyptian authorities.