African Asylum Seekers in Israel Molestation: Israel Molesting African Asylum Seekers / Africa News

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The right group, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said that Israel has resorted to molestation and inhuman treatment of African asylum seekers in the country, all in a bid to drive them out of the country.

Human Rights Watch has made a series of revelations about human rights abuses against vulnerable groups this week. On Tuesday, it revealed that African Union soldiers serving in Somalia have raped a number of women and girls seeking medical aid or water from their bases.

More than 7,000 African migrants are said to be in Israel with majority of them coming from Eritrea and Sudan. Some of these asylum seekers entered Israel as far back as 2006 but their applications for seeking asylum have not received proper attention from the Israeli government.

Eritrea and Sudan have witnessed deadly conflicts in the past and some of its citizens try to seek asylum elsewhere in the Middle East.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has also been tough on African migrants in the country in recent months, deporting dozens of them back to their home country regardless of their security status back home.

HRW said that over the past eight years, the Israeli authorities have employed various measures including harassment and molestation to encourage African asylum seekers to leave the county.

HRW said majority of the asylum seekers have been in police custody without any formal charge, their applications for asylum rejected by the Israeli authorities and others have been denied access to job opportunities and proper medical care.

It further warned that the migrants are at great personal risk and needed an urgent action from the international community.

Senior refugee researcher at Human Rights Watch, Gerry Simpson told reporters that Israel is violating the international principle which forbids states from returning refugees and asylum seekers to places where their lives or freedom would be threatened.

“Destroying people’s hope of finding protection by forcing them into a corner and then claiming they are voluntarily leaving Israel is transparently 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 detention and abuse back home”, he said.

But the Israeli Foreign Ministry has said in a statement responding to HRW that the country has done nothing wrong as Israel treats illegal migrants entering its territory in accordance with international law.

“Illegal migrants are able to file a request to be granted the status of refugees, and can also appeal the decision by the Israeli authorities regarding their status to the Israeli courts,” the statement said.

African migrants in Europe and elsewhere in the world have suffered a record high of abuses this year. Dozens of them even got drowned in the Mediterranean Sea as they try to cross the sea to seek opportunities in other foreign lands.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

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