Court: Too late to get involved in migrant case

High Court of Justice rejects petition regarding 18 Eritrean migrants who had been waiting on the Egyptian side of the Sinai.

Migrants at Egypt border 370 (photo credit: reuters)
Migrants at Egypt border 370
(photo credit: reuters)
The High Court of Justice on Sunday rejected a petition regarding a group of Eritrean migrants who had been waiting on the Egyptian side of the Sinai border fence.
From the group of 21 migrants, 18 were deported. Three were allowed entry; this was done out of goodwill and humanitarian concerns, according to the government, and not out of a recognition of any international law obligations.
It was unclear what the court could do since the 18 migrants’ fate had already been decided and resolved by the government.
As a result, the court dismissed the petition.
The petitioners were furious that the government had taken action after the initial court hearing on Thursday and before the court could rule on Sunday.
They demanded that the government at the very least give an accounting of how it had made its decision, what happened to the deportees and address any potential violations of the migrants’ rights through the deportation.
The petitioners asserted that the migrants’ rights had been violated and that the government had thrown them into a dangerous situation in Egypt without any thought for their welfare.
However, the court did not want to stake out a position on any of the issues before it, and decided not to address the issues for any future similar events, in light of the fact that the migrants’ fate for which the petition was filed was now beyond the power of the court.
Moreover, the court instructed the petitioners that if they wished a report from the government, they first needed to approach the government, and only afterward could they check if there was a basis to file a new petition to the court on that issue.