Alert: Egypt – Write to Egyptian President urging him to open the Refah Crossing

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To follow up IHRC's joint-letter to President Mubarak, campaigners are similarly encouraged to write to the Egyptian President, urging him to open the Refah border-crossing to allow aid into Gaza.

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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04 December 2008

Alert: Egypt – Write to Egyptian President urging him to open the Refah Crossing

Contents
1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action required
4. Sample letter
5. Addresses for sample letter


1. Summary

In light of worsening humanitarian crisis happening in Gaza, IHRC drafted a joint open letter to the Egyptian President via the Egyptian Embassy in London. The letter, which was signed by parliamentarians, community leaders, international multi-faith organisations and NGO's, urged President Hosni Mubarak to open the Refah Crossing to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza.

In the same way, campaigners are respectfully asked to write to President Mubarak via the Egyptian Embassies of their countries, appealing for the border-crossing to be immediately opened.


2. Background

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is deteriorating for the 1.5 million men, women and children trapped inside. Israel's ongoing collective punishment of the civilian population is pushing Gazans into further poverty and misery. In response to this, the Islamic Human Rights Commission recently drafted a joint letter signed by parliamentarians, community leaders, international multi-faith organisations and NGO's, calling on the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to immediately open Egypt's border-crossing with Gaza for urgent humanitarian aid. The letter was delivered to the Egyptian Embassy in London by a delegation led by IHRC Chair Massoud Shadjareh. Similarly, the letter was handed in to Egyptian Embassies in Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia and India, in conjunction with the Universal Justice Network.

Mr. Shadjareh commented:

“The humanitarian crisis created by the Israeli government's policy of collective punishment must no longer be tolerated. While none can ignore the plight of the Palestinians, the Egyptian government bears a particular responsibility to allow vital aid to the innocent men, women and children of Gaza, whose only crime is living under occupation.”

Campaigners are urged to write send the sample letter below to the President Husni Mubarak via the Egyptian Embassy of their respective country, urging him to open the Refah border-crossing to allow vital humanitarian aid into Gaza. Campaigners can also draft their own letters.

*It is highly encouraged to send actual letters and faxes if possible, however you may opt only to email the letters to embassies for which emails have been provided.


3. Action required

Write to President Hosni Mubarak c/o the Egyptian Embassy in your country, urging him to immediately open the Refah border-crossing to allow vital aid to trapped Gazans.


4. Sample letter

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If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is extremely important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters.

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Sample letter to the President Hosni Mubarak c/o the Egyptian Embassy in London. Please replace the address with the Egyptian Embassy in your country using the address following the sample letter.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]


President Hosni Mubarak
c/o Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
26 South Street
London W1K 1DW

[Date]

Dear President Mubarak,

Re: Opening the Refah Crossing

I am aware of the letter that was signed by various NGOs, parliamentarians and public figures from various countries and handed in to you via various embassies of the Arab Republic of Egypt in (among other places) the UK, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia and India. I too would like to add my voice to these in the hope that you will help alleviate the suffering of Gaza.

You surely do not need me to relate to you the strangulation of Gaza, and the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding. The blockading of Gaza, before this current crisis, was already described as creating the world's biggest concentration camp. It beggars belief that a civilian population of 1.5 million people is abused and starved – punished collectively for choosing their own government.

As you know in the last weeks, fuel supply to Gaza has been blocked leading to the closure of its power plant. The UN has been forced to halt distribution of food aid, upon which most Gazans are reliant. The actions of the Israeli authorities violate the Geneva Conventions and so many international norms. The crimes committed against Gazans degrade all humanity and failure to act against these crimes, by those with the capacity to do so, ensures their complicity with the criminals.

Whilst this catastrophe unfolds, it beggars belief that there exists a crossing into Gaza, namely the Refah Crossing that is outside Israeli control, yet still closed. This crossing, on the border with Egypt , must be opened immediately and unconditionally, to allow in international relief efforts and the personnel required to alleviate the suffering the innocent civilians of Gaza undergo.

I ask you to look to the example of Egyptians who earlier this year broke through the blockade to help those in need. You can be remembered, as they are, for a difficult but noble act, or you can choose to support the oppression of Gazans.

For anyone with a conscience it is not a choice.

In the hope of your swift and humanitarian action,


[Your signature]
[Your name]


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5. Addresses for sample letter

Below, please find the addresses to the Egyptian Embassies in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Netherlands, South Africa, Turkey, UK and US. Campaigners should use the address of the respective embassy in their country.

Australia:

President Hosni Mubarak
c/o Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
1 Darvin Avenue, Yarralumla
2600
Canberra
Australia

Fax: +61-2-6273-4279


Belgium:

President Hosni Mubarak
c/o Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Avenue de l Uruguay 19
B-1000
Bruxelles
Belgium

Fax: +32-2-675588


Canada

President Hosni Mubarak
c/o Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
454 Laurier Avenue East,
Ottawa, ON, K1N 6R3

Fax: +1-514-8660835
Email: egyptemb@sympatico.ca


Denmark:

President Hosni Mubarak
c/o Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Kristianiagade 19
DK-2100
Copenhaguen
Denmark

Fax: +45-35253262


France:

President Hosni Mubarak
c/o Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
166, Avenue De Hambourg
13008
Marseille
France

Fax: +33-491737931


Germany:

President Hosni Mubarak
c/o Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Stauffenberg Str. 6-7
10785
Berlin
Germany

Fax: +49-30-477-1049


India:

President Hosni Mubarak
c/o Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Flat No.101 Benhur Apartments,32 Narayan Dabholkar Road
400006
Mumbai
India

Fax: +91-22-23634558


Indonesia:

President Hosni Mubarak
c/o Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Jl. Teuku Umar No. 68, Menteng
Jakarta
Indonesia

Fax: +6221-3145073
Email: egypt@indosat.net.id


Malaysia:

President Hosni Mubarak
c/o Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
28 Lingkungan - U Thant, Off Jalan
55000
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia

Fax: +60-3-4573515


Netherlands:

President Hosni Mubarak
c/o Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Badhuisweg 92
2587CL
The Hague
Netherlands

Fax: +31-70-3543304
Email: ambegnl@wanadoo.nl


South Africa:

President Hosni Mubarak
c/o Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
270 Bourke St.
Pretoria
South Africa

Fax: +27-12-3431082


Turkey:

President Hosni Mubarak
c/o Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Ataturk Bulvari No.126
06680
Ankara
Turkey

Fax: +90-312-4270099
Email: egyembassyankara@yahoo.com


UK:

President Hosni Mubarak
c/o Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
26 South Street
London W1K 1DW

Fax: +44-20-73553568 or +44-20-74911542


US:

President Hosni Mubarak
c/o Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
2310 Decatur Place
NW 20008
Washington
District of Columbia
USA

Fax: +1-202-2244319 or +1-202-22445131


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"And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper."
Holy Qur'an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

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