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UG Christian News / Human smugglers to deliver Israel asylum seekers to Uganda: Report

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Thursday, 22 February 2018

UG Christian News

Human smugglers to deliver Israel asylum seekers to Uganda: Report

February 22, 2018

Israel: Thousands of African asylum seekers leave Holot detention center, June 25, 2014. Courtesy photo.
A new report by Israel’s longest running newspaper, Haaretz claims that “human smugglers” are to deliver asylum seekers facing deportation in Israel to Uganda.
The Newspaper said on Wednesday that following an interview with the refugees, the victims said “they have been pressured to let smugglers take them over the border into Uganda.”
Haaretz, whose circulation amounts to 72,000, said that this is contrary to claims made in the deportation notices which purpote security for the asylum seekers on leaving the country.
Meanwhile, all asylum seekers at the Holot detention facility in the southern Negev Desert of Israel, began a hunger strike on Tuesday night to protest the imprisonment of seven Eritreans who refused to leave Israel.
“We don’t want to eat at all – not tomorrow, not the next day – because they’ve taken these people to jail,” Abdat, an Eritrean who has been held at Holot for 10 months told Haaretz  “Not one person is eating. They tell us, ‘It’s a pity to throw the food away.’ We say lives are also being thrown away.”
It was the first time asylum seekers have been jailed for refusing to leave.
According to Haaretz, the seven Eritreans who were summoned for pre-deportation hearings Tuesday morning were taken to Saharonim Prison immediately afterward, apparently due to fear they would flee.
“Because they refused to leave Israel for either Eritrea or Rwanda, they will be held at Saharonim indefinitely unless they change their minds, in line with new rules issued by the Interior Ministry’s Population, Immigration and Border Authority,” the newspaper wrote.
Haaretz says the immigration authority has sent deportation notices to more than 100 of the approximately 900 asylum seekers at Holot. The notices warn that if they don’t agree to leave, they face indefinite detention at Saharonim.
The authority’s new rules state that Eritreans and Sudanese who didn’t file asylum requests by the end of 2017, or whose asylum requests were rejected, can be deported to a third country. After receiving deportation notices, they have one month to decide if they want to leave, and if not, they can be jailed indefinitely.
The notices don’t name the third country, but orally, the asylum seekers are told it’s Rwanda.
Women, children, fathers of minor children and victims of slavery or human trafficking currently aren’t being deported, according to Haaretz.
There are currently about 40,000 Eritreans and Sudanese in Israel, including some 5,000 children born here. Only about 15,000 had filed asylum requests by December 31, and of these, 8,000 are still awaiting answers.
But the Israel Prison Service has warned that it can’t hold thousands of asylum seekers who refuse to leave. It has room for at most about 1,000.

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