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PHOTOS: African refugee protest leader sent to Holot detention center

Mutasim Ali, a Sudanese asylum seeker and one of the leaders of the African refugee protest movement in Israel, was sent to the Holot open detention center in Israel’s south around noon on Monday.

Like other asylum seekers, Ali receive a summons to Holot during a visit to renew his visa at the Interior Ministry in Tel Aviv several months ago. Ali appealed the decision, under the claim that the imprisonment of all asylum seekers is illegal. After the court rejected his appeal, Ali announced that he will go to Holot and continue his struggle against the Israeli government’s policies toward asylum seekers.

African asylum seeker protest leader Mutasim Ali speaks at his support event in Levinsky Park. (photo: Oren ZIv/Activestills.org)

African asylum seeker protest leader Mutasim Ali speaks at his support event in Levinsky Park. (photo: Oren ZIv/Activestills.org)

Over the past months, Ali has taken a central role in the joint committee of Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers in Israel. Committee members were responsible for coordinating and organizing the major protests against Holot, and amplified the community’s demands to be recognized as refugees.

On the weekend before he was sent to Holot, Ali’s friends organized a farewell party on the roof of his south Tel Aviv apartment building. On Saturday night, African and Israeli activists put together an event in support of their friend.

Mutasim Ali says goodbye to friends before being driven to Holot. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Mutasim Ali says goodbye to friends before being driven to Holot. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

 

African asylum seeker protest leader Mutasim Ali is driven to Holot detention center. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

African asylum seeker protest leader Mutasim Ali is driven to Holot detention center. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

On Monday morning, approximately 30 of Ali’s friends gathered at Tel Aviv’s Nokia Arena, from which the Interior Ministry generally buses African asylum seekers to Holot. After he said goodbye to his friends, Ali was driven to Holot in a private vehicle.

Read more:
Portraits: Detained African asylum seekers in Israel
PHOTOS: 24 hours outside Holot ‘open’ detention center

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