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March for Freedom

  • PHOTOS: 24 hours outside Holot 'open' detention center

    African asylum seekers converge on the Holot 'open' detention center to demand the release of those held there, and call for a comprehensive solution for their community. Photos and text by: Yotam Ronen, Oren Ziv and Tali Mayer/ African asylum seekers from different cities in Israel held a two-day protest outside Holot detention center in the Negev, on February 17-18, 2014. Around 500 African immigrants gathered outside the center to call on Israeli authorities for the release of all people imprisoned under the Prevention of Infiltration Law, and find a comprehensive solution for the asylum seeker community. The detainees of Holot joined the demonstration…

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  • The origins and politics of Israel's refugee debate

    An in-depth look at the historical and political developments that shaped Israel’s current African asylum-seeker crisis — and one way to resolve it that meets Israel’s own needs while doing right by those who most need its protection. African asylum seekers in Israel have brought their struggle into the limelight in recent weeks. Through acts of civil disobedience, public protests and a mass labor strike, the mostly Eritrean and Sudanese nationals are attempting to shift the public discourse surrounding their presence in the country, gain access to a credible process in which they can seek asylum, and challenge a new…

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  • Prison break: African asylum seekers claim their place on the Israeli political map

    In Israel's most vibrant demonstration ever to take place on the refugee issue, and in two bold escapes from an 'open prison,' African asylum seekers are starting to present themselves as a political force to be reckoned with. Saturday night was something like no one in Israel had ever seen before. It was supposed to be a small demonstration - a quiet march of several hundred Israeli activists and African asylum seekers, coming on the heels of two Marches for Freedom that took place earlier in the week (both of which were intercepted and suppressed by immigration authorities). Initially, it didn't seem…

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  • PHOTOS: Second 'march for freedom'

    For the second time this week, 130 asylum seekers leave the Holot ‘open’ prison facility in southern Israel to march through the desert in protest of their detention and the arrest of their comrades in the previous march. This time around, immigration officers stopped the march shortly after it began. Photos By: Oren Ziv, Tali Mayer /  

  • Immigration officers arrest asylum seekers on second 'March for Freedom'

    For the second time this week, 130 asylum seekers leave the Holot 'open' prison facility in southern Israel, march through the desert in an attempt to move their demonstration to a major city. This time around, immigration officers stopped the march shortly after it began. The asylum seekers are protesting their detention conditions and the arrest of their comrades in the previous march. About 130 African asylum seekers left the Holot "open" prison facility in the Negev on Thursday and began marching through the desert to Be'er Sheva. From there, the group had planned to make their way to Tel Aviv and…

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  • Police arrest asylum seekers who left 'open prison,' marched to J'lem

    More than 150 African asylum seekers who deserted from an 'open prison' facility reach Jerusalem and are joined by supporters in a first-of-its-kind protest. Police and immigration authorities arrest them all and put them on buses back to prison. Update (4:15 p.m.): Police and immigration authorities detained all of the Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers who left the 'Holot' open prison on Sunday and marched to Jerusalem. The detainees were put on buses and driven away. *** After deserting from a so called 'open prison' facility in large numbers, refusing meals for two days and marching almost non-stop for another two,…

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