It is clear that through its decision to leave the asylum seeker in custody, the court refused to recognized his particular situation. Thus, it rejected the possibility that will forever remain open before us: the possibility - which is both an obligation and a right -- to discover compassion. By Asaf Weitzen Judge Eliyahu Beitan of the Be'er Sheva District Court recently handed down a decision on an appeal filed by Raya Meiler of the Hotline for Migrant Workers, ordering the continued detainment of an Eritrean asylum seeker, despite him being recognized as a victim of severe torture. Among the explanations…Read More... | 9 Comments
Had the Israeli media paid attention to a protest by Eritrean refugees outside their embassy last week, the public would have learned something valuable about the Eritrean community in Israel: they desperately want a better future for their country so that one day soon, they can go home. By Sigal Rozen Over 200 Eritrean refugees gathered last Friday, despite the rain and a storm, in front of the Eritrean embassy in Ramat Gan to express their support for Eritrean soldiers who rebelled last week and took over the Eritrean Ministry of Information's building in the capital Asmara. For a moment, it…Read More... | 1 Comment
Israel accepts or rejects the UN refugee agency's positions as it sees fit. In addition to indicating a general disregard for the United Nations, its approach toward UNHCR, whose establishment Israel once enthusiastically supported, demonstrates a serious need for additional refugee law expertise. By Dr. Yuval Livnat R. told Interior Ministry representatives that he is an Eritrean citizen and eligible for protection from deportation to his country. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which interviewed R., gave his lawyer from the Hotline for Migrant Workers a letter supporting his position. The Interior Ministry determined that R. is Ethiopian. A…Read More... | 5 Comments
On Thursday, I traveled to the south with a group of journalists and bloggers to view the construction of new detention facilities around Ketsiot, near the Egyptian border. When completed, the four prisons in the area are meant to be able to hold more than 16,000 inmates, making them, together, the largest detention facility for immigrants in the West. The trip was organized by ASSAF - Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel, with the participation of Physicians for Human Rights, the Hotline for Migrant Workers and Amnesty International. Aid workers and reporters are not allowed into the…Read More... | 11 Comments
When it comes to the issue of refugees, or 'infiltrators,' emotions often get the best of those who are defending one term or another. But facts are facts, apples are apples, oranges are oranges. I was reminded of the above when reviewing Oren Ziv's images of the mother and daughter being arrested at a kindergarten in the Hatikva neighborhood of Tel Aviv. Naturally, no human can deny the human emotions as evident in the photos. Some will say that the Left is exploiting such images to make those who are for deportation feel and look bad. The Left will use…Read More... | 5 Comments
Some 500 asylum seekers held in a prison in the desert recently refused food in protest of a new law that enables Israel to keep them in detention indefinitely. By Sharon Livne "Don't tell anyone my name, I'm afraid of what they'll do to me here if they know I talked." So began a nighttime telephone call with C., age 23, who has been incarcerated for 11 months in the Saharonim prison in the Negev. According to C., the Eritrean detainees in Saharonim began a hunger strike in protest of their imprisonment for a minimum of three years, in accordance…Read More... | 4 Comments
By Isayas Teklebrhan I traveled to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem on September 3, 2012 in order to submit the following letter, designed to expose the Eritrean dictatorial regime. When I arrived at the building, I explained to the security guards, that I am an Eritrean asylum seeker wishing to submit an open letter to the minister of foreign affairs. After making a phone call to inquire about my case, I was told I could not deliver my letter. When I tried to negotiate, the guards called the police, who instructed me to leave the scene. A United…Read More... | 9 Comments
While Eritrean asylum seekers cannot be deported due to the risk they would face upon return, the new Prevention of Infiltration Law enables Israel to keep them in prison indefinitely. New arrivals, most having faced rape and torture en route to Israel, are presently being held in a prison in the desert, and nobody knows how long they'll be kept there. A visit to Ketsiot prison. By Yonatan Berman Almost three years ago, I wrote about how much I hate the journey to Ketsiot prison; how frustrating it is there, even for the fleeting visitor who knows that at the…Read More... | 62 Comments
The apartment of an Eritrean couple in Jerusalem went up in flames last night, in what looks like another arson attack. Haaretz reports that at around 3 a.m., the man and the woman, who is seven months pregnant, awoke and tried to stamp out the fire with their feet. There are times when events are so horrible, it's hard to find any words and easy to feel paralyzed with misery. *** The Hebrew Haaretz story adds that the 32-year old man suffered second-degree burns over 20 percent of his body. And because of the woman's advanced pregnancy, both will be…Read More... | 6 Comments
By Noam Wiener The Tel Aviv District Court, roughly comparable to a circuit court in the American federal system, sentenced on Wednesday an Eritrean refugee convicted of aggravated robbery to four and a half years imprisonment. Explaining the harsh sentence, he cited the need to deter “foreign citizens” from committing crimes. Without detracting from the brutality of the individuals who attacked refugee shops and cars last week, this is a far more insidious form of racism. And if anybody was so deluded into thinking that only the less fortunate lower classes are so racist, Judge Zvi Gurfinkel has proven that the…Read More... | 12 Comments
An optimistic proposal, inspired by an interview with the UN refugee agency's man in Israel. Last Friday, a couple of days after the south Tel Aviv riot, I interviewed William Tall, representative in Israel of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and came away thinking that there is a way to settle the crisis decently, which I didn't think there was before. Not that I believe Israel will settle it decently, just that there is a solution that would be fair to the African refugees, to the Israelis in south Tel Aviv, and to the State of Israel. (Point of information: The current rate of Africans crossing from Sinai…Read More... | 16 Comments
Palestinian MK Ahmad Tibi [Raam-Taal] tweeted this status on Friday: I oppose the entrance of infiltrators from Eritrea because they are coming to work instead of the Palestinians, but if they are here, they should be treated in a humane way, and not with the barbarity of (MK Danny) Danon and (MK Miri) Regev Some Israeli liberals on Twitter attacked Tibi for the first part of the sentence, and he later said that he should have not used the term "infiltrators" but instead refer to the Africans as immigrants who seek work. Eritrean citizens comprise most of the Africans who…Read More... | 39 Comments
What's going on between Israelis (including Israeli Arabs) and African refugees, and the prospects for more vigilante violence. Here's my suggestion for preventing more vigilante riots like last night's in South Tel Aviv's Hatikva Quarter. One, put lots and lots of older, cooler-headed cops and soldiers on the southside, and in Eilat, Arad and every other place where there are large concentrations of African refugees. The main purpose is to deter further attacks on them, the other is to cool the locals' grotesquely inflated - though not entirely imagined - fear of getting murdered, raped or mugged by them. Two, the refugee population in south Tel Aviv and Eilat has to be drastically thinned out and relocated throughout the country, to…Read More... | 58 Comments
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Reports, maps, infographics and other documents on human rights and democracy.
Children under occupation
The effects of occupation on minors.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
A series of striking infographics.
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