AllAfrica.com is reporting that Human Rights Watch has accused the Israeli government of forcing thousands of African asylum seekers to return home where they face abuse, imprisonment and possibly torture. Many of the asylum seekers are fleeing Sudan and Eritrea and have been placed in detention camps where they are not allowed to work. The author writes:
“There’s been a series of laws put in place that basically gives people the choice between being able to stay in Israel but potentially in indefinite detention, or being sent back to the country they came from … We think this constitutes effective ‘refoulement,’ which is a refugee law term that means you’re being basically forced back to a country where you face a well-founded fear of some kind of persecution,” said Bill Van Esveld of Human Rights Watch.
Some Israelis say the influx threatens the very nature of the Jewish state. The government built a fence along the Egyptian border to keep them out.”
Israeli’s see those that entered the country before the border was constructed as refugees and those that came after the border as illegal workers. Those Africans who leave Israel and return face 10 year prison sentences.
Read more at AllAfrica.com.