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Cambodia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

Cameroon

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

Central African Republic

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

Chad

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau)

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau) – Hong Kong

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau) – Macau

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau) – Tibet

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

Côte d’Ivoire

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

Cuba

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

d. Freedom of Movement, Internally Displaced Persons, Protection of Refugees, and Stateless Persons

There continued to be restrictions on freedom of movement within the country, foreign travel, and migration with the right of return. The government also controlled internal migration from rural areas to Havana.

Individuals seeking to migrate legally stated they faced police interrogation, fines, harassment, and intimidation, including involuntary dismissal from employment. Government employees who applied to migrate legally to the United States reportedly sometimes lost positions when their plans became known. Some family members of former government employees who emigrated from the island lost public benefits or were denied passports to travel and join their family members abroad.

The law provides for imprisonment of up to three years or a fine of 500 nonconvertible pesos (CUP) ($20) for first-time “rafters” (those who attempted to depart clandestinely, commonly using homemade vessels). Most persons caught attempting unauthorized departures via sea were detained briefly. In the case of military or police defectors, or those traveling with children, the punishment could be more severe. Prison terms were also more common for persons attempting to flee to the United States through the Guantanamo U.S. Naval Station.

Under the terms of the 1994-95 U.S.-Cuba Migration Accords, the government agreed not to prosecute or retaliate against migrants returned from international or U.S. waters, or from the Guantanamo U.S. Naval Station, after attempting to emigrate illegally if they had not committed a separate criminal offense. The government prevented independent trips to monitor repatriated Cubans outside of Havana. Some would-be migrants alleged harassment and discrimination, such as fines, expulsion from school, and job loss.

In-country Movement: Although the constitution allows all citizens to travel anywhere within the country, changes of residence to Havana were restricted. The local housing commission and provincial government authorities must authorize any change of residence. The government may fine persons living in a location without authorization from these bodies and send them back to their legally authorized place of residence. There were reports that authorities limited social services to illegal Havana residents. Police threatened to prosecute anyone who returned to Havana after expulsion.

The law permits authorities to bar an individual from a certain area within the country, or to restrict an individual to a certain area, for a maximum of 10 years. Under this provision, authorities may internally exile any person whose presence in a given location is determined to be “socially dangerous.” Dissidents frequently reported that authorities prevented them from leaving their home provinces or detained and returned them to their homes even though they had no written or formal restrictions placed against them.

Foreign Travel: The government continued to require several classes of citizens to obtain permission for emigrant travel, including highly specialized medical personnel; military or security personnel; many government officials, including academics; and many former political prisoners and human rights activists. It also used arbitrary or spurious reasons to deny permission for human rights activists to leave the island to participate in workshops, events, or training programs. For example, the CCDHRN reported that authorities denied at least 12 human rights defenders permission to leave during August alone.

PROTECTION OF REFUGEES

Access to Asylum: The constitution provides for the granting of asylum to individuals persecuted for their ideals or actions involving a number of specified political grounds. The government has no formal mechanism to process asylum for foreign nationals.

Temporary Protection: On the small number of cases of persons seeking asylum, the government worked with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and other humanitarian organizations to provide protection and assistance, pending third-country resettlement. In addition the government allowed foreign students who feared persecution in their home countries to remain in the country after the end of their studies, until their claims could be substantiated or resolved.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

Djibouti

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

Egypt

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

d. Freedom of Movement, Internally Displaced Persons, Protection of Refugees, and Stateless Persons

The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, and repatriation, and the government generally respected these rights, albeit with some exceptions, including the handling of potential refugees and asylum seekers. The government cooperated with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other humanitarian organizations in providing protection and assistance to refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons, and other persons of concern. Authorities maintained a “no-fly” list that prevented some defendants in court cases from fleeing the country.

Abuse of Migrants, Refugees, and Stateless Persons: Media, NGOs, and UNHCR staff reported multiple cases of attacks against refugees, particularly women and children. According to UNHCR, refugees sometimes reported harassment, sexual harassment, and discrimination. Refugee women and girls, particularly sub-Saharan Africans, faced the greatest risk of societal, sexual, and gender-based violence.

According to UNHCR and press reports, police security sweeps increased in neighborhoods known to house Syrian, Sudanese, and other African refugees, as well as migrants, resulting in increased detentions. Detainees reported authorities subjected them to racist verbal abuse, beatings, and torture during detention.

While reports of abuse by Sinai-based facilitators and captors of irregular migrants declined, a shift in human trafficking activities to mainland Egypt accompanied this decline due to the security situation in Sinai and Libya.

In-country Movement: Citizens and foreigners may not travel in areas of the country designated as military zones. The government sought to prevent private individuals, journalists, and civil society activists from entering the Sinai Peninsula, stating it was to protect their safety; however, some persons avoiding government detection did enter Sinai, particularly irregular migrants attempting to reach the Israeli border and the western border zone.

Foreign Travel: The constitution states, “No citizen may be prevented from leaving the State territory.”

Men who have not completed compulsory military service, however, may not travel abroad or emigrate. National identification cards indicated completion of military service.

Authorities required citizens between ages 18 and 45 to obtain permission from the Interior Ministry to travel to 16 countries: Guinea, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Qatar, South Africa, South Korea, Sudan, Syria, Thailand Turkey, and Yemen. Enforcement of these regulations was sporadic. The government stated it intended these regulations to make it more difficult for citizens to join terrorist groups and to stop flight of criminals. These regulations also affected the ability of other individuals to travel outside the country.

The government increasingly imposed travel bans on human rights defenders, and political activists. In March 2016 Mada Masrreported there had been 554 cases of politically motivated banned entry and exit imposed by authorities in airports since 2011. Local human rights groups maintained authorities used travel bans to intimidate and silence human rights defenders, including individuals connected with NGOs facing investigation as part of the reopened NGO foreign funding case. On October 2, Cairo airport authorities prevented human rights defender Magdy Abdel Hamid from travelling to Jordan. Press reports cited his status as a defendant in the NGO foreign funding case as the reason for his ban.

Democracy activist Esraa Abdel Fattah remained unable to depart the country. In 2015 authorities prevented Abdel Fattah from departing the country and informed her that authorities had issued a travel ban in her name. She filed a lawsuit to challenge the ban, but the court dismissed the suit. In September authorities referred a case regarding comments she made on social media for military prosecution.

Exile: There was no government-imposed exile, and the constitution prohibits the government from expelling citizens or banning citizens from returning to the country. Some Mubarak- and Morsi-era politicians lived outside the country by choice and stated they faced government threats of prosecution.

PROTECTION OF REFUGEES

Refoulement: According to human rights advocates, migrants detained while attempting to enter the country irregularly were typically given two options: return to their country of origin or administrative detention. The government often contacted UNHCR upon detaining unregistered migrants and asylum seekers. The number of potential asylum seekers returned to their countries was unknown. Authorities sometimes encouraged those detained to choose to return to their countries of origin to avoid continued detention, even in cases where the individuals expressed a fear of return. There were no reports that authorities deported children to their countries of origin without their parents or an adult caregiver.

Compared with previous years, fewer Palestinian refugees from Syria entered the country illegally, intending to travel to Europe. In a number of cases, in the absence of valid travel documents or inability to confirm their identities, they faced either detention or deportation.

The Association on Freedom of Thought and Expression reported that, between July 3 and October, authorities arrested 90 to 120 Uighurs, primarily students at al-Azhar University. Some reports indicated authorities subsequently deported 12 of these individuals, and the number of individuals still in custody remained unknown. Human rights organizations reported the individuals faced arbitrary detention and torture if returned to China.

Access to Asylum: The constitution provides for the protection of political refugees, but the laws do not provide for granting asylum or refugee status, and the government has not established a comprehensive legal regime for providing protection to refugees. The government granted UNHCR authority to make refugee status determinations. UNHCR does not register Libyan citizens, nor does it register or provide assistance to Palestinian refugees in the country.

According to UNHCR, as of August there were approximately 211,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers in the country, coming mainly from Syria (123,033), as well as from Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Yemen. Since 2016 the number of Syrian nationals registered as refugees has increased. Observers attributed the increase to relaxed family reunification visa requirements, decreasing areas of ISIS control throughout the country, young men attempting to avoid conscription in the national military or armed groups, and an increased fear of raids targeting unregistered migrants. Most Syrians continued to arrive by way of Sudan, which remained the only neighboring country to which Syrians could travel without visas. The number of African refugees also increased during the year according to UNHCR, particularly among Ethiopian, Eritrean, and South Sudanese populations.

In 2012 and 2013 under the Morsi administration, the government accorded Syrians visa-free entry. Starting in mid-2013 the government applied a system of visa and security clearance requirements for Syrian nationals and Palestinian refugees from Syria, thus assuring no direct entries from Syria since Egypt lacked consular services there. Following the UNHCR high commissioner’s visit in January, the country relaxed its visa requirements for Syrians seeking family reunification.

Reports of irregular movements of individuals, including asylum seekers, and detention of foreign nationals attempting to depart the country irregularly via the Mediterranean dropped dramatically during the year, according to UNHCR, following parliament’s passage and enforcement of a law that dramatically increased patrols on the country’s Mediterranean coast. In 2016 UNHCR documented 4,985 failed attempts to leave the country by sea; however, since the law’s passage, authorities intercepted only four boats trying to leave Egyptian waters. UNHCR observed increased African irregular departures from the country, particularly Sudanese, Eritrean, and Ethiopian nationals. Irregular migrants continued to travel steadily through the land route from Sudan (Wedi Halfa/Abu Simbel).

UNHCR access to detained registered refugees and asylum seekers was unscheduled and intermittent. According to UNHCR, authorities allowed access but only by request. Local rights groups faced continued resistance from the government when trying to interview detainees at Qanater men’s and women’s prisons outside Cairo, which housed the majority of detained refugees and asylum seekers. Authorities generally granted UNHCR access to asylum seekers at all prison and detention facilities, and UNHCR officials visited 102 detained foreign prisoners to determine their status as of September. Authorities generally released migrants upon confirming they were registered with UNHCR as well. Authorities detained migrants, many of whom were Ethiopian, Eritrean, Sudanese, and Somali (and may have had a basis for asylum claims) and frequently did not grant them the same quick release. Detained migrants–as unregistered asylum seekers–did not have access to UNHCR. Authorities often held them in in police stations until UNHCR or other aid agencies assisted them, although sometimes authorities sent them to regular prisons alongside convicted criminals.

The government has never recognized UNHCR’s mandate to offer services to Palestinians outside of the fields of operations of the UN Relief and Works Agency, reportedly due to a belief that allowing UNHCR registration would negate Palestinian refugees’ right of return. Approximately 2,900 Palestinian refugees from Syria were also present in the country, the majority reportedly in Cairo. The Palestinian Authority mission in the country provided limited assistance to this population, who were not able to access UNHCR assistance provided to Syrians due to governmental restrictions. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) mission in Cairo provided some humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees from Syria.

Employment: There is no law granting or prohibiting refugees the right to work. Those seeking unauthorized employment were challenged by lack of jobs and societal discrimination, particularly against sub-Saharan Africans. Refugees who found work took low-paying jobs in the informal market, such as domestic servants, and were vulnerable to financial and sexual exploitation by employers.

Access to Basic Services: Refugees, in particular non-Arabic-speaking refugees from sub-Saharan Africa, received limited access to some services, including housing and public education. According to UNHCR, refugees can fully access public-health services. The Interior Ministry restricted some international organizations seeking to assist migrants and refugees in Sinai. UNHCR was unaware of any migrants detained in Sinai since 2016. UNHCR provided refugees with modest support for education and health care, as well as small monthly financial assistance grants for particularly vulnerable refugees. The International Organization for Migration provided additional assistance to particularly vulnerable migrants and individual asylum cases either rejected or being processed by UNHCR.

Refugee children not enrolled in public schools mainly attended refugee-run schools, private schools, or were home schooled. The law requires government hospitals to provide free emergency medical care to refugees, but many hospitals did not have adequate resources to do so. In some cases hospitals insisted that refugees provide payment in advance of receiving services or refused to provide services to refugees. In response to the influx of Syrians, the government allowed Syrian refugees and asylum seekers access to public education and health services. UNHCR estimated that 35,000 school age Syrian children (approximately 90 percent) have enrolled successfully in the public school system.

STATELESS PERSONS

Most of the 26 stateless persons known to UNHCR were Armenians displaced for more than 50 years. According to a local civil society organization, the number of stateless persons in the country was likely higher than the number recorded by UNHCR. The government and UNHCR lacked a mechanism for identifying stateless persons, including those of disputed Sudanese/South Sudanese nationality and those of disputed Ethiopian/Eritrean nationality. An unknown number of the approximately 70,000 Palestinian refugees were stateless.

Equatorial Guinea

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

Eritrea

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

Ethiopia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

Gabon

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

Guinea

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

Guinea-Bissau

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

Republic of the Congo

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

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The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future