06. Januar 2014 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Israel: Flüchtlingsproteste (Fotos) · Kategorien: Israel · Tags:

nzz 06.01.2013: (dpa)

„Tausende von afrikanischen Flüchtlingen haben am Sonntag in Tel Aviv für ihre Anerkennung als Asylbewerber demonstriert. Die Demonstranten, von denen die meisten aus Eritrea und dem Sudan stammen, marschierten aus dem Süden der Stadt bis auf den zentralen Rabin-Platz. Die Veranstalter sprachen von 20 000 Demonstranten.

Der Protest richtet sich unter anderem gegen die Internierung afrikanischer Flüchtlinge in einer neuen Anlage an der Grenze zu Ägypten. In der offenen Einrichtung müssen die Asylbewerber sich mehrmals am Tag melden, sonst müssen sie mit Gefängnis rechnen. […]“


PHOTOS: Asylum seekers march to Jerusalem to protest government policies

In a mass act of civil disobedience, over 150 Sudanese asylum seekers chose not to show up for the evening roll call Sunday night at an ‘open prison’ in Israel’s south.

Instead, they set out on a march to Be’er Sheva, more than 50 kilometers (30 miles) away, where they spent the night at the central bus station in freezing wintery conditions. According to law, the detainees must check in with prison authorities three times a day.

On Monday morning they continued marching toward Jerusalem in order to protest their continued detention without trial and to demand recognition as refugees. They group will set out to on the last leg of the trip to Jerusalem on Tuesday at dawn.

Photos: Oren Ziv, Yotam Ronen, Keren Manor, Shiraz Grinbaum / Activestills.org

African Asylum seekers take part in a protest march on the highway from Be’er Sheva in southern Israel on their way to Jerusalem on December 16, 2013 after they fled a detention centre in the south where they were being held. (photo: Activestills.org)


Israel opens ‚de facto jail‘ for migrants

450 African asylum seekers moved to new detention centre, where they will be held indefinitely without charge.

Israel hopes new detention facility will eventually hold up to 9,000 African asylum seekers [Reuters]

Israel has begun moving African asylum seekers into a new detention facility in the country’s southern desert, in a move that has been harshly criticised by human rights groups.

The Israeli prison service said 480 African asylum seekers, who had been held in Shaharonim detention centre, were transferred to the new facility on Thursday, and about 1,000 asylum seekers would be held there by the end of the month.

An amendment to Israel’s „Anti-Infiltration Law“ was passed by parliament, the Knesset, on Tuesday, and shortened the mandatory prison terms for African asylum seekers who have illegally entered Israel from three years to one year.

The Israeli government said the law „creates a suitable balance between the right of the State of Israel to defend its borders and prevent infiltration, and its obligation to act in a humanitarian manner toward anyone within its borders and protect the human rights due to every person“.

But the asylum seekers will now be held in the new detention centre, known as Sadot, indefinitely without charge or trial until they can be sent back to their home countries.

The detention of African asylum seekers, a group of Israeli human rights groups said in a statement on Tuesday, „is not only draconian, undemocratic, and a fatal blow to human rights, it will also do nothing to help the already marginalized residents of South Tel Aviv“, an area where many asylum seekers live.

In the new facility, asylum seekers will be locked down at night, and forced to check-in with the Israeli authorities three times per day. They will also be barred from working outside the centre.

Human rights groups have called the new facility a de facto prison, a charge that Israel denies.

Speaking to Al Jazeera in November, before the law was officially approved, Marc Grey, spokesperson for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) said: „We don’t see this as an improvement… The law itself, whether it’s three years or one year [of detention]… it’s still just absolutely a massive violation of [asylum seekers‘] rights.“

9,000-person capacity

There are an estimated 54,000 African asylum seekers in Israel, with most coming from Sudan and Eritrea.

The Israeli government says African migrants are a burden on the state, and threaten its Jewish character. The country’s policies, state officials have said, aim to deter the arrival of refugees at Israel’s borders, and deport the ones that already live in the country.

According to a report in Israeli daily Ha’aretz, the new detention facility can currently hold up to 1,000 people, but it is expected to expand to accommodate 3,300 within the next two months.

„We hope it will eventually hold 6,000 or even 9,000 people,“ Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Israel’s Public Security Minister, said.

The state said it would also provide African migrants held in the new centre with a monthly stipend, health services and educational training.

But asylum seekers are not convinced.

„There is no-one that can claim that he or she is safe in Israel… Everybody is afraid here. We are not secure,“ Haile Mengistaab, the head of the Eritrean Community Committee in Israel, told Al Jazeera in November.

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