August 1, 2013
A spate of arbitrary detentions and immigration checks have targeted Syrians who were once welcomed to Egypt with open arms by the Morsi administration. The increased restrictions stem from rumors that Syrian refugees in Egypt took part in often violent pro-Morsi rallies across Egypt. Abdulrahman al-Masri spoke with UNHCR regional representative Mohammad Dayri, who says that Syrian refugees experienced less harassment in Egypt while the Brotherhood was still in power.
Q: How has the Syrian situation changed since the overthrow of Morsi?
A: Since the events that transpired in Egypt in July, which included the possible participation of Syrians in some acts of violence and in demonstrations around Egypt, we have noticed more checks during the residency process.
There were no additional restrictions on Syrians required by the authorities under Morsi. It is being said that the participation of some Syrians in the [Brotherhood] demonstrations has led to more security precautions, as well as to the arrest of many Syrians in order to check into their backgrounds and identities. But mostly they were let go after ensuring their legal status in the country.
Q: Do you see or hear and discrimination against Syrians in Egypt?
A: On television especially, there were several statements that resonated on the Egyptian street. What is certain is that Egyptians condemn the participation of Syrians in violence and demonstrations. These media statements negatively impacted Syrians on the level of the street.