We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Some of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Abusing Asylum Seekers in the Sinai

by Stephen Lendman Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2011 at 10:12 PM


Abusing Asylum Seekers in the Sinai - by Stephen Lendman

A new Physicians for Human Rights - Israel (PHR-I) report discusses atrocities committed against sub-Saharan Africans seeking refugee status in Israel. Titled "Hostages, Torture, and Rape," it explains the ordeal experienced by 284 victims.

PHR-I said its Open Clinic treats about 700 status-less people monthly. About a year ago, many women asked for abortions. Conversations determined they were raped in the Sinai en route to Israel.

On December 14, PHR-I published a report describing their ordeal, based on interviews with first-time patients. After publishing it, dozens more interviews were conducted. This report follows up, based on 284 interviewed victims, as well as more information gotten by human rights activists and groups globally.

Regional turmoil compounds the situation further. Recent Release Eritrea information, an Egyptian-based human rights organization, said that five Northeast Sinai prison facilities were evacuated, prisoners released without identity papers, complicating their status gravely.

Included are about 200 Eritreans and Ethiopians. Some reached Israel. Egypt re-imprisoned others. Many were caught by human trafficking gangs. They're now in captivity held for ransom.

Agenzia Habeshia said about 190 Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees are at two Sinai torture camps, traffickers demanding up to $10,000 each to release them. Testimonies gotten reveal horror stories of violence and rape. PHR-I believes other Sinai camps operate the same way.

Of the asylum-seekers treated at PHR-I's Open Clinic, 59% said they were imprisoned under close guard and/or chained, 52% saying they experienced extreme violence. Two-thirds reported severe thirst, 88% saying they lacked food and nearly starved.

Violence reported included punching, slapping, kicking, and whipping. Others described torture, including burial in the sand, electric shocks, hanging by one's hands and legs, burning with white-hot iron bars, prolonged sun exposure, and other types of burning. About 15% have scars and other bodily signs showing abuse.

One victim said:

"They tied me and beat me up every day. I have scars all over my body - above the eye, on my back. They tied me feet upwards and beat me on the heels. I broke an arm and several fingers. Since then, they did not heal so well. To me, Sinai was hell on earth."

Another said:

"Those who couldn't pay were held in a container, kept in chains and beaten constantly. Four treated this way died, including children. We started out as a group of 12 people who arrived in Sinai, and I know of only eight who made it to Israel. I don't know what happened to the other four...."

Some victims were so traumatized, it was hard for them to relate their experiences, especially women, raped or otherwise sexually abused. Shame and guilt affected them even though they were victims, helpless to stop it.

One woman, however, said:

"I was raped repeatedly....under gunpoint over a period of five months. I became pregnant as a result. When I arrived in Israel, I was sent to a prison facility. I was depressed and threatened to commit suicide if they wouldn't let me have an abortion. When I was released, I went to PHR-I's Open Clinic."

Despite many dozens of similar reports, Israel has done nothing to help victims, PHR-I saying:

"We find the silence of the Ministries in charge of Health and Welfare particularly exasperating, as they failed to take prompt action to ensure the health and rehabilitation of these torture victims."

It's unsurprising in a country practicing torture as official policy, an issue a previous article addressed, accessed through the following link:


Israel does so in violation of the UN Torture Convention, the Geneva Conventions, Geneva's Common Article Three, other international laws, and Section 277 of its own 1977 Penal Law, prohibiting torture by providing criminal sanctions against using it.

Against long odds, PHR-I asked the Ministries of Health and Welfare to grant social residency status to refugees and asylum seekers. "In so doing so, the Minister will give (victims) access to the public health system."

It can be done easily and quickly without legislation, requiring only ministerial authority. However, Israel won't help Palestinians, and for years treated non-Jewish immigrants and asylum seekers harshly. Despite events across the region, PHR-I asked Israel to act. It also asked members of the international community to extend their help.

So far as known, no actions have been taken, and likely won't be. In countries like Israel, non-Jews aren't welcome, especially poor immigrants and asylum seekers.

A previous article discussed human rights in Israel and Palestine, including how migrants and asylum seekers are treated, accessed through the following link:


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments

© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy