International rights group condemns Egypt for detaining, pressuring Syrian refugees to depart

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An international rights group says Egypt is detaining hundreds of refugees from Syria, pressuring them to leave the country even if it means returning to the civil war in their homeland.

Human Rights Watch said Monday that security officials have acknowledged that the refugees will be held indefinitely until they leave the country.

It says 1,200 out of 1,500 who have been detained have been coerced to depart. Some 300 remained in detention as of Nov. 4.

Joe Stork, HRW Middle East deputy director, says refugees are detained in "miserable conditions."

After ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi on July 3, authorities imposed travel restrictions on Syrian refugees. Heated media campaigns accused them of participating in the protests calling for Morsi to be reinstated.