WASHINGTON (JTA) — Sixty experts in refugee law from the United States, Canada and Europe urged Israel’s attorney general to stop the government from deporting some 38,000 African asylum seekers in the country, saying that carrying out the plan would violate international law.

“We call on the state of Israel to refrain from carrying out the deportations and to release those who are being detained for refusing to cooperate with their prospective deportations,” said the letter sent Sunday to Avichai Mandelblit from experts at universities including Harvard, McGill and Oxford. “In carrying out these deportations, Israel will be in serious breach of its obligations under international refugee and human rights law.”

The letter said, among other charges, that the plan to deport the asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea to a third unidentified country would place them at risk because it lacked sufficient oversight.

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