NEW YORK, September 9 (RIA Novosti) – Israeli officials have unlawfully coerced about 7,000 Eritrean and Sudanese refugees into returning to their African homelands, where they face abuse, Gerry Simpson from the pressure group Human Rights Watch told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
“Israel’s convoluted rules thwart Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers’ attempts to secure protection under Israeli and international law. Israeli officials describe Eritreans and Sudanese as threatening infiltrators, deny them access to fair asylum procedures, and use their resulting insecure legal status to coerce thousands into leaving the country,” Simpson said.
“Destroying their hope of protection by forcing them into a corner and then claiming they are voluntarily leaving Israel is abusive. Eritreans and Sudanese in Israel are left with the choice of living in fear of spending the rest of their days locked up in desert detention centers or of risking further detention and abuse back home,” he said.
An 81-page report, ‘Make Their Lives Miserable:’ Israel’s Coercion of Eritrean and Sudanese Asylum Seekers to Leave Israel, accuses the Jewish state of using unclear legal rules to thwart asylum seekers’ claims for protection under Israeli and international laws, often by also detaining them or threatening to detain them.