A few days ago I received a call from a woman terrified of continuous beatings and torture with electric shocks to which they are subjected her and her 53 fellow passengers taken hostage and sold to the families of Bedouins in the Sinai. The woman says she started from the Sudan, paying the price already agreed to $ 3 000 to cross the border with Israel, but once we arrived in Rafah "we have been sold to another group of traffickers, we are now held in the basement of a building , we see the wives of the traffickers who incite husbands to beat us until we pay more than $ 28 000 each. Last Sunday one of us is dead: a young boy, came from a village near the capital Asmara, Eritrea. died under torture with electric shock, another is dying. " One of the hostages, a young Eritrean, echoes him: "We are in chains, beaten every day we receive 30 per person, we burn with the fire melted the plastic, even the kids are beating us in front of their parents enjoy the fact that they laugh. " They wonder how can that no authority intervened: "We are in the town, held captive in the basement of the villas of the Bedouins." He tells the boy: "We are 10 women in a 6-month pregnant, a mother of 6 children left behind, 43 males, were taken when we were more than 200 people, there are many other groups similar to ours here in the area, is an area of traffickers who take hundreds of people hostage, surely we will be 500 to 600 people, most of them are Eritrean, but there are also a group of Ethiopian and Sudanese of Darfur. " They're contacting, anguished relatives of hostages from dangerous conditions they are living their relatives. A woman who lives in Italy, his nephew is among the hostages, told me that the family have already Verses 165 000 Nakfa, Eritrea local currency, an enormous sum for the pockets of families in Eritrea. There are stories of people forced to sell their home, their mothers sell what little they possessed prezzioso to save the life of your son and daughter. This story goes on for some time, we have repeatedly denounced these crimes against humanity that you are consuming in the Sinai, has changed the regime in Egypt, but does not stop traffic, even the current situation seems more favorable for predators, which are the absolute masters in the border area with Israel at Sinai. How many refugees have lost their lives before the world is enough to say this massacre of innocents? How much suffering must endure before their cries of pain could be heard by the international community? The new Egyptian government must intervene to free the hostages, for this is all the pressure of the international community, especially Europe to take charge of this drama. Need for an effort to combat human trafficking, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, Egypt, Israel, Palestine. I request the immediate intervention of UN agencies and the European Commission to push all of these were affected by this serious crime, to fight to end human trafficking, torture and killing of the refugees. This traffic affects the dignity of people endangers the lives of thousands of people fleeing for protection and a better life and peaceful. These people deserve the full attention of the international community and all the civil societies on the planet.
Fr. Mussie Zerai