Asylum Officer Training on Egypt

by David L. Cleveland

USCIS recently released 58 pages of training it gave to asylum officers about Egypt, as the result of a FOIA lawsuit.

Somewhat redacted, the pages are published on the FOIA page of the Louise Trauma Center website:, as “Egypt 5-5-20.”

Some excerpts:

The RAIO Research Unit made an “Egypt COI Presentation” on May 5, 2020. [“COI” means “Country Origin Information”]

Egypt is 85-90% Sunni Muslim; 10-15% Christian. Page 703 of 758.

Counterterrorism laws: 2105 law criminalizes publishing news “if it contradicts official statements.” State Security Courts “do not guarantee a fair trial and their decisions are not subject to appeal.” The law was expanded on 22 April 2020. Page 710.

September 21, 2017: this law was proposed: Nationality can be withdrawn if a person joins “any” group with the aim of “harming the public order” by force or by “any unlawful means.” Page 717.

It is more difficult for Christians to get divorced, than for Muslims. Page 718.

Article 2 of the 2014 Constitution states: “Islam is the religion of the state...Islamic Sharia [is] the principle source of legislation.” Page 719.

Page 720 is a list of “notable” attacks against Coptic Christians 2016-2018.

Abu Qarqaas May 2016

A romance between a Christian boy and a Muslim woman incited a mob of 300 Muslim men to attack Christians, and vandalize and rob their homes. Page 721.

About The Author

David L. Cleveland was the Chair of the AILA Asylum Committee [2004-05] and has secured asylum or withholding for persons from 48 countries. Based in Washington DC, he is available at

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.