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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.