Israel: Eritreans jailed for refusing deportation go on hunger strike

The Israeli immigration authorities have transferred 7 detainees from Holot “open” detention centre to indefinite incarceration in “Saharonim“, under their new policy.

Saharonim is a prison – not a detention centre – and the 7 Eritreans who are there are being held indefinitely. They have no release date. They will be imprisoned until the Israeli government break their resolve and deport them to Rwanda or Uganda.

Communication with them there is very difficult, as they are not allowed to have phones. Instead they are forced to call from public phones.

The rest of the detainees in the Holot detention centre started a hunger strike on Tuesday afternoon.

It has been under way for 24 hours and they have described their experiences in this short video.

The immigration authorities have begun starting issuing other asylum seekers notices giving them 60 day between indefinite incarceration or deportation to Rwanda (or, sometimes, Uganda).

By last week at least 200 asylum seekers where refouled to Eritrea and 55 left to Rwanda/Uganda.

More positively, an appeal court decided that deserting from the Eritrean army evasion is a ground for a refugee claim. It is a very important ruling, but the authorities are likely to appeal against it.

Israeli civic societies have called for a rally against the deportations for this Saturday (24th February).

The rally is being called by the Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel, which has issued this invitation to anyone to join it.

I am pleased to invite you to a mass rally – against the deportation of asylum seekers and in support of the rehabilitation of South Tel Aviv – which will take place this coming Saturday, February 24th at 20:00. We need you with us to take a stand against the deportation of refugees and asylum-seekers, to protect them against the horrible fate of deportation to a third country without protection, without status and to once again beginning a very difficult refugee journey, facing life threatening situations.

 

 

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