domenica 23 giugno 2013

Israel: risk of deportation for thousands of Refugees

Emilio Drudi

"I am willing to accept a transfer to Israel only if coordinated with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the international community. But I heard that we want to throw in a third country where our lives would never be safe. There is talk of Uganda, Nigeria or Kenya. They are all places are not safe for us to be there, they can deport in Eritrea ": Gabriel, born in Asmara, 31, from six in Tel Aviv, expressed to the newspaper Haaretz any concern of thousands of young refugees like him in front of the new provisions of the Netanyahu government. Against refugees and migrants is looming in fact a mass expulsion. Indeed, the progressive media like Haaretz, talks about real deportation.
And 'anguish which invests more than 60,000 men and women, almost all young, sometimes whole families with children. Half are Sudanese. Then, almost 20,000 Eritreans. Among other groups prevail Ethiopians and Somalis. Desperate fled war, political persecution, discrimination, hunger and famine. They got almost all through the wilderness of Sinai, in defiance of the Egyptian border police shot and controls the Israeli army. Or the slave-traders who hunt fugitives to like them, capture them and ask for a ransom to free them of up to $ 40,000 per head: those who can not pay are likely to be sold on the market of organs for transplantation or illegal , girls, into prostitution. It 'a massacre which now has hundreds, thousands of victims. The indifference of the international community. But even for the lucky ones who have managed to achieve it, Israel has not proved the "promised land" that they hoped.
After crossing the border, the asylum seeker is granted a temporary visa, generally for three months, and it's guaranteed accommodation. They have no right, however, to other forms of assistance or job opportunities. They are mostly concentrated in the suburbs of Tel Aviv but there are also numerous in Elat, Jerusalem and two other small towns, Hadera and Gadera, chosen by the government when it was considered that in Tel Aviv there were too many. Their life is not easy. It never has been. They live in small rented houses. Six, eight, even ten to a room. And make do as they can, often exploited as cheap black arms for the construction industry, agriculture, services of manpower. Without protection, without the possibility of protest and generally looked upon with suspicion and hostility. There were, indeed, episodes of severe intolerance. Just a year ago, in early June 2012, in Jerusalem Molotov cocktails were thrown at a house that housed a dozen Eritreans, four were taken to hospital for burns or intoxicated by smoking. The motive of this authentic punitive expedition has shown beyond any possible doubt drawn by the writings on the wall of the building, "Go away ...". Similar attacks, as demonstrated by a news report of the Post, were recorded in previous weeks in Tel Aviv, always of homes, shops and even a nursery school for African children.
Who does not have a valid visa is likely to end up in the detention center Saharonim, in the Negev, where they are also worn all irregular migrants caught at the border by the military. A hard line that last year the government has decided to tighten even further, arguing that "illegal infiltrators" threaten "the Israeli national identity." June 3, 2012 came into effect a law that allows you to close in internment camps for a period up to 3 years, without trial, immigrants who do not comply. Indeed, it may be sentenced to heavy prison sentences - as reported by Dana Weiler-Polak in a service in Haaretz - even those who "aid migrants and provide them with shelter." E 'was also completed the construction of a barbed wire fence that follows the border with Egypt in the Sinai desert for hundreds of miles. The avowed aim is to control the border against incursions of terrorists but the first real concrete result is actually the realization of an insurmountable obstacle for refugees from Sudan and the Horn of Africa.
In order to justify this type of measure is always insists on the fact that it is "irregular". Infiltrate. But it is quite clear that anyone who is forced to flee persecution and discrimination faced in their own country, can only be an immigrant "irregular" arrives at the border as illegal because it is a haunted desperately looking for help and assistance. As provided for by international agreements. Only that Israel, despite being among the first to sign the Geneva Convention of 1951 on the rights of refugees, it shows less and less willing to give these desperate refugee status. In particular, the Sudanese of the new state of Southern Sudan, established in 2011 with capital of Juba, on the pretext that now, after the separation from Khartoum, would no longer have reason to flee. The same fate, however, the Sudanese in the north and the Eritreans. The result is a comprehensive program of expulsion, now greatly reduced the flow of new immigrants after the construction of the barrier on the Egyptian border, reflects primarily the 60,000 immigrants already residing in Israeli cities, perhaps for years.
Do not miss the protests, especially by humanitarian organizations, such as Hotline for Migrants Workers or Habeshia agency to which the progressive press has devoted a lot of room. The government, however, insists on the hard line. Not surprisingly, the field of Saharonim, which could accommodate up to 2,000 prisoners, was nearly tripled the capacity is now more than 5,400 places but if necessary you plan to enlarge it further. And it is as eloquent as he said months ago the newspaper Maariv the current foreign minister, Eli Yishai, then charge of the department of the interior: "We will use all means to expel all foreigners, until it will no infiltrator". The only serious obstacle for this policy was that it is difficult to expel these desperate people to their countries of origin, devastated by wars and dictatorships, and where they expect the prison or even death. Where there are still other words, the conditions that forced them to flee. Now he's found a way around this problem: it is these days the news that you are entering into agreements with a third country in which to transfer the refugees.
It is not known which country it is. The Rebirth online magazine writes that it would be an African nation which - as reported by the Israeli army radio - would share "common interests" with Tel Aviv. The news, however, has been reported with great relief by the Israeli progressive press, starting with the Haaretz newspaper. Four hypotheses: Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan. Newspapers and humanitarian organizations have been raised strong doubts about the legality of the measure. However, the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, Advocate informed the government Yochi Gnesin, made no objection whatsoever. And the plan now would be to shoot. A plan, indeed, "a society of deportation," said Haaretz in an article taken from Rebirth, adding that the new measure, aimed particularly against Sudanese and Eritreans, reflects "the contempt of the Netanyahu government" against African blacks, often asylum seekers. "Instead of coping with their difficulties - the newspaper of Tel Aviv - you prefer to expel them." "The new measure - adds Rebirth - has aroused the concern of the African community in the country. Speaking to Haaretz, the immigrants said they feared being deported against their will and without any guarantee on respect for their rights. To avert this hypothesis have therefore asked the Israeli authorities to accommodate their requests for asylum, recognizing refugee status, before proceeding to any such transfer. " Here are the statements of numerous migrants: "If you do not protect my rights in Israel - such as protest Bob, 27, arrived from Eritrea in 2009 - how do I know that we will defend in another country? We need to know what the country. And how they treat refugees there ... ".
According to humanitarian organizations, there is no doubt that, despite the agreement sanctioned by the Supreme Court, this provision violates the Geneva Convention of 1951 and the same human rights. An attempt at justification by the Israeli government, it could be that the United Nations, recognizing that the problem of refugees is a supra-national in scope, provide for apportioning the costs through international cooperation. For example, a country that borders another state of war, can not be left alone to cope with the expected huge influx of displaced. The burden of care are divided. "The choice of Israel is not within this context - notes Habeshia - It seems rather the buck of a rich country to a poor one. What's more, you do not have any guarantee that the country where refugees relocate it really protect the rights. It 'a fear that regard, in varying degrees, all four were mentioned by rumors these days. That's why the program in more than a transfer seems a deportation. With a huge risk, in particular, for the Eritreans that, if returned somehow to the dictatorship of Isaias Afewerki, are intended as a minimum to jail. "
There are those who remember how precisely because of this terrible situation every year more than 70 percent of Eritrean asylum-seekers all over the world get the recognition of refugee entails, says the UN convention, "protection against refoulement" guarantees, as well as the refugee himself to his family, "access to civil, political, economic, social, equal to those enjoyed by nationals of the receiving State", with the possibility "of becoming a naturalized citizen in the end." All this - is the conclusion - does not occur in Israel and it is doubtful that it will happen in the country where Tel Aviv intends to transfer the African refugees. Haaretz cites no coincidence that hundreds of immigrants expelled from Israeli jails in the recent past in which they were detained. "Where are you today?", Questions the liberal daily. There is no answer: no one seems to know what happened to them in practice.

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