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Eritreans Demonstrate In Front of Israeli Embassies

Eritreans in major cities around the world demonstrated today in front of Israeli embassies and consulates on behalf of all African refugees and asylum seekers.

According to one of the organizers, “the demonstration was a grassroots movement that began with an idea to bring awareness of the plight of our people in Tel Aviv.” She added, “the demonstrators in the U.S. delivered a demand letter from the refugees and asylum seekers to the Israeli embassies and consulates.”

In San Francisco, Freedom4Refugees, an Israeli human rights group urged the public for a mass demonstrations on January 22nd in solidarity with asylum seekers in Israel.

Below is the press release issued by the organizers of the demonstration.

For Immediate Release
January 22, 2014

Elinor Tesfamariam

National Eritreans in Diaspora Spokesperson for Asylum Seeker Rights in Israel:
Ph.703-677-2143, Elinor2006@gmail.com

Sefora Estifanos
National Eritreans in Diaspora Spokesperson for Asylum Seeker Rights in Israel:
Ph. 646-420-6860, Sefora113@hotmail.com

Fakiri Taha
National Sudanese in Diaspora Spokesperson for Asylum Seeker Rights in Israel:
Ph.703-499-3314, fakiritaha@yahoo.com

Thousands of African Activists Demonstrate at Israeli Embassies and Consulates Demanding Israel Respect the Rights of Refugees and Asylum Seekers

North American and European Demonstrations Join in Solidarity with Tens of Thousands of African Asylum Seekers in Israel Protesting New Indefinite Detention Policy   

 Washington, DC, January 22, 2014– Joining in solidarity with African refugees and asylum seekers in Israel, several Diaspora Eritreans and Sudanese demonstrated today outside of Israeli embassies in Washington, London, Berlin, and Stockholm, as well as Israeli consulates in New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Toronto. The global protests are in response to the Israeli government’s widespread arrest and indefinite detention of refugees and asylum seekers under the amendment to the Anti-Infiltration Law of 1954.

“These are refugees and asylum seekers who are entitled to protection. The amendments to the Anti-Infiltration Law are in violation of international law,” said Elinor K. Tesfamariam, Attorney with Plenpovo Law in Washington, DC.

“Branding refugees as infiltrators, subjecting them to official discrimination and humiliation, meting out to them physical violence in the streets, and locking them away in the middle of a desert is a travesty of international norms – to put it mildly. Whereas empathy toward the refugees (many of whom are victims of human trafficking) is the least one expects from the Israeli people, the State of Israel has to abide by its obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention and relevant protocols that it is signatory to. The first step would be for the Israeli government to recognize the displaced persons for what they are: refugees deserving the protections stipulated in the 1951 Convention, the 1967 Protocol, and subsequent United Nations resolutions. The international community – especially UNHCR – would also have to play its part to care for the refugees and accord them the treatment that they deserve as human beings.” stated Dr. Awet Woldemichael, professor of history at University of Kentucky.

“On behalf of the African refugees and asylum seekers, we are calling on the Israeli government to implement a functional, fair, and transparent Refugee Status Determination procedure that allows for each individual to apply for asylum and provides protection and support for refugees.”

Today’s international protests follow a series of growing peaceful demonstrations by African refugees and asylum seekers in Israel following the Israeli Knesset passage of the amendment to the Anti-Infiltration Law of 1954 on December 10, 2013.

When the amendment came into effect on December 12, 2013, hundreds of African detainees were transferred to a fenced-in “open facility” in a relatively isolated area of Holot Halutza in the Negev desert. The inspectors from the Population, Immigration Boarder Authority then began widespread arrests of asylum seekers and have summoned more than a thousand people to report to the Holot internment camp.

According to the law, these individuals are required to report in three times a day and locked in at night to prevent work or flight. There are no limit on the length of residence so detainees can be held indefinitely without trial.

There are approximately 53,000 asylum seekers in Israel. Most of these individuals are from Eritrea and Sudan from which they fled because of persecution, repressive regimes, conflict, or forced conscription.

Tens of thousands of these refugees and asylum seekers were kidnapped, tortured, and held for ransom by human traffickers in the Sinai desert before they secured their freedom and made it to Israel.

Earlier this month, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) issued a statement about the African asylum seekers in Israel saying: “in light of their countries of origin, the majority are either refugees in the sense of the 1951 Refugee Convention or, at the very least, in need of international protection and cannot be returned to their home country.” UNHCR said that Israel should allow asylum seekers proper access to “refugee status determination (RSD), irrespective of the location of their residence in Israel. At this stage, only a small number have gone through the RSD process while the majority – particularly Eritreans and Sudanese outside detention – were granted an imperfect form of temporary protection. It is important to note that asylum-seekers from Eritrea and Sudan show high recognition rates in other countries (in Europe, the recognition rates are more than 70%).” Israel’s refugee status recognition rate is approximately 0.15%.”

“Sudanese refugees are extremely grateful that the international Jewish community has stood with us against genocide, violence and repression in our country,” said Fatiri Taha. “The situation in Sudan has not changed. Our Sudanese brothers and sisters in Israel are refugees and desperately need the Jewish state to compassionately provide protection.”

Local Protest Contacts:

Washington, DC: Seghen Simon. 301.461.1001 seghensimon@gmail.com
New York: Fnot Gebre. 202.487.3107 fnot.gebre@gmail.com
Los Angeles: Daniel Mirrach. 323.822.8670 danielmirrach@yahoo.com
San Francisco: Asennai Musye. 415.741.9811 asennaim@gmail.com
Boston: Azieb Teclemichael. 215.888.7491 azeb25@msn.com

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  • Dann

    I really feel sorry for the Eritreans in Israel. They went through hell to rich the promised land only to find another hell. However on the other hand the Israelis, who are tired of fighitng their own multi-faceted problems, yet face another unwanted problems from Africans. The Africans should keep their house in order instead of bringing their own problems where ever they go.

    • nebri adam

      Dann I agree with your point but your advice I beleieve is meant for their governments and not for the refugees themselves.

  • Nebri Adam

    I have never expected the Jews people that through out history were victimized as recently as the second world war to treat our helpless Eritrean and other African countries’ refugees in such a barbaric manner. I cried every time I watched the Holocaust movies or documentaries not because I am a Jew but because I am human being like those victims at the concentration camps. Now for the Descendants of those same people who identify themselves to be part and parcel of those victims to treat others who are victims of non the- less of an inhumane treatment by their countries dictatorship regimes is completely a shocking thing to see, I hope the Israeli people and government come to their senses soon and treat the refugees as such and stop calling them “infiltrators” Peace and love for all people!!!!

  • AfricanSoul

    All, Nitricc is a psychopathic Ethiopian named Teddy Fikre from DC (check out his site, http://www.browncondor.com). Awate.com, I hate to bring you this bad news but you are in for a major headache with this guy on your site. I don’t know where he gets the time but he is always trolling random sites and writing the most idiotic articles, debasing random people and opining about topics he has no clue about. It is very likely he is either bipolar or downright schizophrenic; which is not a crime obviously but someone needs to help this guy. He sometimes uses the nick “Nitricc” along with “Nitricc Ethiopians”; a group that is a figment of his imagination with whom…*brace yourselves* he actually debates with online. It is baffling…

    • Nitricc
      • haile

        Hey Nitricc, now you get a taste of your med. 🙂 how does it feel to do that to others (like deny their identity and say they are Tigrayans…) well, boomerang, what goes around comes around.

        Anyway, African Soul, you got the wrong guy here. Nitricc is Eritrean, YPFDJ and delusional. If you need a co-signer for him, count me in.

        • AfricanSoul

          I highly doubt it. Ask him one question about Eritrea or Eritreans that he can’t Google. Go ahead.

          • Ermias

            African soul. You have helped me immensely. I always knew he was playing some kind of devils advocate. Out of so many things, here is one of what I found:

            Re: Ethiopians Don’t be fooled & join Eritrean sanction protest!
            Post a reply
            by myeritrea » 26 Jan 2010, 21:58

            revolutions wrote:
            I’m an Ethiopian from the Tigray region to be exact. What distinguishes me from my fellow Tigreans who blindly worship the apartheid weyane junta is, I no longer suffer from the crippling inferiority complex the weyanes rock as a badge of honor. In the twisted mind of an ignorant weyane, a civilized Tigrean is considered an “Eritrean”….. hence they wrongly label me as an “Eritrean.”
            I demand an apology !

            Revolutions use the following other names.
            Oromay at meskerem.net forum
            Temasek at redsea1.com forum
            Nitricc at awate.com forum

          • Nitricc

            Ermias I really am sorry that you have children. You are too ……. To be one. Dumb

          • Ermias

            He has never written in Tigrinya and he never mentions anything specific about Eritrea. Thank you African Soul. Mystery solved.

        • AfricanSoul

          This is what this psychopath posted a day ago,

          “Don’t you worry that day is not that far when the Amhara go for your heart to rip it out of your ribs and the Oromo go for your head to snap it from your neck and off course there are Eritreans. Then and only then come talk your freaking nonsense in here. Remember, there is a saying in Amharic goes like
          Beseferut Quna, Mesefer Ayqerim.
          Now go to your $%^*&%% aiga.”

        • Nitricc

          Haile, forget the nonesense of African Stupid and Ermias’s idiocy
          I challenge you to show me where I call out people in denying their identity. Show me one incidence where I call an Eritrean a Tigryan. Come on Haile. You are good at digging and I am challenging you to dig one.
          Happy digging!

      • AfricanSoul

        Teddy, listen to your sisters and lay off the internet. Get some help.

    • African soul, we are not into guessing, and we are not interested. Please stop posting your private investigation results. Awate Forum is open for anyone who is willing to abide by our guidelines.

      • AfricanSoul

        Fair enough. Question is, is he abiding by them? Do you even read his posts?

  • Nitricc

    I normally don’t give a flying hoot what is what and who is who but I can not understand what is going on with the awate-team and Semere Tesfay. What grasped my attention is the obvious. Semere is telling the awate-team he does not have the time to check his e-mail but he got enough time to tell the awate team that he does not have time; which the time he is wasting would have been plenty enough just to check the freaking e-mail. What the hell is going on? Please don’t tell me this guy is a crock and twisted?
    I have no idea what the awate-team is asking and I have no idea what is going on but
    How could you not have the time to check your e-mail? But you got the time to tell the team that you don’t have time? Something is fishy. As much as I liked Semere’s writing and stand, of he is a crock and liar; no thanks. Self-worth should mean something more than anything, I mean anything!

  • Ermias

    The biggest clown in the world. So for the first time in her life, he took his wife to vacation. I never believed he actually had a wife. But poor woman. He probably beats her up when he gets drank. I heard his son is married too, like father like son, drinks everyday.

    • Nitricc

      Ermias, have some dignity, leave PIA’s son and his family. don’t be low life. I don’t care if you eat PIA alive but his family, they are off limit. how would you feel if i say things about your child just becouse i don’t like you? don’t be stupid.

  • Nitricc

    “Israel: If We can’t Send you Back, Your Stay Won’t be Pleasant”

    Oh well, the Israelis told you as is, now what? Any country and nation have the right to kick out any infiltrators. I can not speak for other nations but Eritreans are not political refugees, they are not only economical but it is fair designation to call them infiltrators. Let’s call the sped just that sped. Although; the Israelis brought this to themselves! When the Eritrean government warned them, they failed to head the Eritrean government warning now; they don’t know what to do.
    Ermias, seriously that is all you can come-up with for your aviator? Lol, even your intelligent wanna be friend Rodab, followed you with girlish and childish aviator.
    Let me tell you this, succor is girl’s sport and anyone who puts it as aviator, well, filter…….

    • Ermias

      Nitricc, we like to engage you here because you exemplify a typical PFDJ follower and supporter. Calling these poor Eritrean political migrants as ‘infiltrators’ is a crime. Israeli’s are not stupid. They know why these Eritreans are there but since they would like to keep their jewish race pure, there is too much risk of contamination when you have tens of thousands of handsome and beautiful Eritreans in their backyards. Their women will be chasing these guys and same with the men and there goes their pure race – contaminated by black blood. See it is very simple. They do have the right to allow or kick out anyone from their country but they ares signatories of the UN Refugee Convention and Protocols (1951 and 1967) so they are obligated to follow the rules just like everyone else in the world.
      You say soccer is girlish. You are just out of touch with everything. I bet you never kicked a ball in your life. You missed out big time in your childhood then. What were you playing, Shaqui or Yahlel? Or maybe Tempo or hashewiye with the neighborhood girls.

      • Nitricc

        Ermias, which planet do you live? Can not be this planet we call earth!
        Tell me one thing, just one thing the Israelis respected or bounded by the toothless UN or anyone else for that matter. Yes, I am challenging you to show me any ruling by the UN that the Israelis respected or abide? Yet, you have the freaking nerve to tell me that they are signatories of this or that. Israelis respect no body. What Israelis want what Israelis get and do. Forget the Golan case or any other cases for that matter, just few years back when the Israelis used white Phosphorus on civilians in Gaza strip; did you hear any body saying anything to the Israelis? Dude, they used white Phosphorus!!!!!
        Again your analogy of contamination is baseless. If you have done a little thinking before you write, there are thousands of Ethiopians, aka FELASHA, so your theory of contamination is out of the window. Say what you want, till the Eritrean youth learn to stay home and make it home sweet home; the agony, anguish, torture and the misery will continue. People gullible like will keep pretending shocked and surprised.
        Come on man, think!

  • Nitricc
  • Selam Haile,
    Bear with us, we created a white list to save you and ourselves from moderating comments by trusted members. So far the system is acting erratically. We are working on it, a little patience. After I post this reply, I am hoping the problem will be solved. If not, please contact us privately so that we can suggest a different solution.

    • Ermias

      Keep up the great work AT. Haile, I had a similar issue when I was logged in through my iPhone and also my computer. Try to log out after you are done and login on one instrument only. That helped me but maybe the issue is something else.

    • Daw!t

      How about forcing haile to use a different but somewhat similar nick name. He is being very suborn; is he not ? 😉 I recommend he use ha!le to resolve the issue.

  • haile

    Dear Moderator

    This is the old haile here, however logging to post comment with my usual email address is proving impossible. I would like to keep all my comments attached to the same haile that I comment as. But, changing my email wouldn’t do that as it wouldn’t be useful to “follow” or be “followed” if I am recognized as a different haile every time I log in.

    Basically, when I log in through awate it returns that “your email is used by someone else (do you have an account?)” and there is no additional action that can be taken. Am I doing something wrong?

  • haile

    There has been information coming out of Israel that Immigration police are now raiding apartments in Tel av-iv to force migrants to report to the detention centers. It is important for those affected to note that they don’t have to open their doors unless a court warrant served to their NAME and CORRECT ADDRESS is inserted under their doors. It is unlikely that the police would force entry without the warrant, but if that happens there is no point to resist arrest or try to engage in something that may be construe as breaking the law. Please let your families and friends however, that it is within their right to refuse to open the doors without a warrant that meets the above two pieces of information.


  • said

    Miri Regev, a member of the Israeli parliament, told the
    crowd “the Eritrean and south Sudanese are a cancer in our body”. The
    vast majority of asylum-seekers in Israel are from south Sudan and Eritrea.

    To describe African refugees in Israel as “infiltrators” and
    “a cancer” And for others to persecute them and to urge they be “rounded up “

    African migrants are not “infiltrators,” a “cancer” nor are “criminals”.
    To call the refugees “a cancer” it
    speak for it self.

  • Ermias

    The socialist secular republic –
    You said it perfectly well. This thread should be closed. There is nothing more to discuss. Good job. Thank you!

    • Rodab

      Chelsea? Please. What could you’ve possibly liked about them?

      • Ermias

        Rodab, arsenal is your team? That’s almost guaranteed disappointment because Wenger doesn’t work on squad depth. Mou is the best manager. City are scary but Arsenal will falter after a couple injuries. I much prefer them than the Manchesters though.

  • Nitricc

    You are wasting your time preaching about nothing. Why is an Eritrean citizen who has paid dearly for her/his country, dignity and honor has to opt to bend of the Israelis?
    Why does has to beg to be accepted by other country just to be a beggar and burden of society? Why? You got a problem how the country is governed and you can not stand the system, then, change the freaking government and demand change. Leaving your country is not the solution. Screaming at the white people and bending to the UN is the solution. Kissing the rear end of the west is not the solution. The solution is you!
    This is the reason I believe, Eritrean youth are leaving the country just to get their piece of modern gadgets. There is nothing to do with system; there is nothing to do with the government. Why can we tell the truth and discusses openly?
    There is one solution; that is stay home and make your country you wish to see!
    The END!

    • Thomas

      I will take your advice, I shouldn’t be wasting my time talking to you. You are worthless dictator worshiper!!

    • Senai

      I’m going to start with the assumption that you yourself live somewhere outside of Eritrea ( most probably the West), next I’m going to assume that you yourself enjoy the rights that your adopted nation has given you. With these assumptions, I am going to further assume that if ANY of your adoptive rights where every infringed upon you would scream, protest and fight for said rights to be restored with much ebullience. But you must be different than the Eritreans in Israel.
      I find it hard to believe that a one time immigrant, or descendent of an immigrant (again an assumption) can write, without the slightest form of hesitance, that migrants shouldn’t ask for the most basic human rights, where ever they are, but instead go back to their home nation ( one they ran away from for whatever reason) and face whatever punishment that awaits. The open hypocrisy that you yourself (or one of your parents) has left Eritrea for an honorable reason, but everyone else should stay and fight, is amazing. Why don’t you go back, why can’t you be the solution to the problem and purge the issues that are so glaring within Eritrea. Whose rear end are you kissing to live the life that you do?
      And if you, Nitricc, don’t believe that Eritrea is as miserable as is being reported (by the very people who risked life and limb to leave) then GO BACK……
      I don’t think you will (Again, another assumption)

    • Yeman

      I couldn’t agree more.Running away is not a solution.The ONLY and ONLY solution for all the predicament our poor nation and its people are in today is to fight the nasty dictator head on and thats at home.

  • The socialist secular republic

    Let me be a little realistic here. Israel doesn’t hear demonstrations…
    Israel is a fascist-type state that considers non-Jews as “infiltrators” or “illegal presence.”
    Israel signs international treaties but doesn’r respect them.
    Israel from its early days has shown the world repeatedly that for it, human rights are not a top priority.
    (and I could have said it worse)
    So why demonstrate ? Who will hear you ?
    The other victims of Israel (Syrians, Lebanese, Palestinians…etc the list is long) have complained and demonstrated for decades ? To what result ?
    The only available tool is to overthrow Isaias, rapatriate all Eritreans in Israel
    and cut all ties with that country, that has once more shown its racist ideology and roots….

  • Thomas Hyle

    What is your intent, Nitricc? After all, you are just a soldier of the dictatorial regime (DIA regime). If you have morality or if you are human, how can’t you sympathize with these people? If cannot learn from history, you just need to stop talking non sense. What happened to the over 2000 asmara university students in 2001? What happened to our journalists, G15, disabled independence veterans, religious followers and other citizens when they voiced their voice for changes in policies or desiring to see a democratic Eritrea? They were all arrested, detained, tortured or at time killed. You seem to use the word “SAD”, but then you seem to ignore the sadness of your people living within the nation called Eritrea. If you have a fair mind, why would these migrants beg the Israelis government to accept them as refuges? I don’t expect you to understand anything, I know you are just a puppet.

  • Nitricc

    I don’t think I will ever get it. Why are they demonstrating again? It is not their country, they don’t belong there and they are no body, then, why are they asking for rights they don’t deserve? It will have been productive and worthy effort if they had put that energy and time to fix what ever they think it is wrong with their country. I don’t get it!
    It is like I have two cars and the person next to my house has none, then, it is like my neighbor demanding he deserves my car because I have extra? No, @%@$#^%#& go get yours. Out of all this country, the Israelis will meet your demand, well ask the Palestinians. What a bunch of Nemrads!
    what was their demand again? Sad.

    • e7tekeste

      Since you don’t know, I suggest you read up on there cause before you throw stones.

    • Simerrr2012

      What you are talking doesn’t make sense at all. When someone talk about Apple , you talk about Orange.What has cars to do with human right? A country who signed the 1951 aggreement has to obey it.The world was not idiot or foul when opened their homes for millions Jews refugees hundreds years ago. Human right has no border.

      • AfricanSoul

        Simerr, don’t waste your time. Read what I wrote about the guy..he is an Ethiopian psychopath who grew up here.