Amnesty International has accused Egypt of unlawfully detaining and deporting Syrian refugees -- many of them women and children fleeing the civil war in their homeland.
In a report released on Thursday, the rights group claimed the Egyptian navy has so far intercepted 13 refugee boats carrying nearly 950 people, most of whom are bound for Europe. Citing United Nations tallies, the report went on to claim 724 refugees remain in detention and face deportation.
The report additionally alleged 36 refugees from Syria, primarily Palestinians, were deported to Damascus early this month and said it believes many of them are being detained by Syrian military intelligence units in Damascus.
The report also said Syrian and Palestinian refugees have been routinely accused of supporting Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and have been the focus of public scorn since Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was driven from power by the Egyptian military in July.