Israel: 7,000 Eritrean and Sudanese Migrants ‘Coerced’ into Leaving

By Gianluca Mezzofiore, International Business Times (UK)
September 9, 2014

african miogrants israel

African migrants hold signs and gesture as they protest against Israel’s detention policy toward them, from inside the fence surrounding Holot, Israel’s southern Negev desert detention centre February 17, 2014

 reuters/Amir CohenIsrael has been accused of using unlawful detention and restrictive asylum policies to try to pressure 51,000 Eritrean and Sudanese migrants into leaving the country.

A fresh report by New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) concluded that the Israeli government created “convoluted legal rules” to get around international and domestic law about protection of refugees and used the insecure legal status of Eritrean and Sudanese migrants to detain them indefinitely.

The asylum-seekers find themselves in a coercive position with the choice of living in fear of spending the rest of their days locked up in desert detention centres” or risking life-threatening abuse back home.

“Destroying people’s hope of finding protection by forcing them into a corner and then claiming they are voluntarily leaving Israel is transparently abusive,” Gerry Simpson, senior refugee researcher at HRW and author of the 83-page report, said. Continue reading