Hundreds of Eritreans enslaved in torture camps in Sudan and Egypt

Human Rights Watch report says state authorities have either turned a blind eye or colluded with perpetrators Harriet Sherwood - theguardian.com, Tuesday 11 February 2014 An Eritrean man shows the wounds he says traffickers inflicted on him in Egypt’s Sinai

Human Rights Watch report says state authorities have either turned a blind eye or colluded with perpetrators

  •  – theguardian.com, Tuesday 11 February 2014
  • An Eritrean man shows the wounds he says traffickers inflicted on him in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula to force him and his relatives to pay ransom for his release. Photograph: Tome Dale for HRW

    Hundreds of Eritrean refugees have been enslaved in torture camps inSudan and Egypt in the past 10 years, enduring weeks or months of violence and rape and extorted by traffickers often in collusion with state security forces.

    Some of the refugees have died, and many have been scarred for life – both physically and psychologically – as a result of mutilation, burning, beatings and sexual assault, according to dozens of testimonies collected by Human Rights Watch in a report published on Tuesday.

    The report, I Wanted to Lie Down and Die: Trafficking and Torture of Eritreans in Sudan and Egypt, says state authorities have failed to identify and prosecute perpetrators, and have often colluded with them in the kidnap and abuse of refugees.

    Traffickers demand ransom money to halt the torture, either from therefugees or from their relatives, who are forced to listen to their loved ones screaming down telephone lines. Even after money has changed hands, traffickers sometimes sell refugees on to another group rather than release them.

    The 79-page report quotes a 23-year-old Eritrean man who was kidnapped by traffickers in Sudan in 2012 and handed over to Egyptian traffickers in the Sinai desert. “They beat me with a metal rod. They dripped molten plastic on my back. They beat the soles of my feet and then they forced me to stand for long periods of time, sometimes for days. Sometimes they threatened to kill me and put a gun to my head,” he told HRW.

    “They hung me from the ceiling so my legs couldn’t reach the floor and they gave me electric shocks. One person died after they hung him from the ceiling for 24 hours. We watched him die.

    “Whenever I called my relatives to ask them to pay, they burnt me with a hot iron rod so I would scream on the phone. We could not protect the women in our room: they just took them out, raped them, and brought them back.”

    HRW also spoke to two traffickers, one of whom said he had made $200,000 (£120,000) profit in less than a year. “I know this money isharam [shameful], but I do it anyway.”

    His most recent group was four Eritreans, whose relatives were told to pay $33,000 each for their release.

    “Sometimes I tortured them while they were on the phone so the relatives could hear them scream. I did to them what I do to everyone, I beat their legs and feet, and sometimes their stomachs and chest, with a wooden stick. I hang them upside down, sometimes for an hour. Three of them died because I beat them too hard. I released the one that paid.”

    According to HRW, more than 200,000 Eritreans – most of them Christians – have fled repression and destitution since 2004. Some of those quoted in the report said they paid people smugglers, but were sold on four or five times to different traffickers.

    Until recently, many were heading to Israel until a new 240km (150 mile) steel border fence blocked access from the Sinai desert.

    “Over the past three years, Sinai has increasingly represented a dead-end comprised of captivity, cruelty, torture and death,” the report says.

    Some refugees have been forced to work for traffickers, as builders or domestic servants. One Bedouin leader in the Sinai, Sheikh Mohamed, told HRW: “I know of hundreds [of Eritreans] at this very moment who are forced to work on construction sites. They are building houses for the kidnappers, who pay for the construction materials with the ransom money.”

    In June last year, the US state department reported that “human trafficking, smuggling, abduction, torture and extortion of migrants” in the Sinai was increasing. Victims were “brutalised, including by being whipped, beaten, deprived of food, raped, chained together and forced to do domestics or manual labour at smugglers’ homes”.

    Collusion between traffickers and Sudanese and Egyptian police and military is widespread, according to HRW, which says both countries are breaching their obligations under national and international anti-trafficking laws, international human rights law and national criminal law.

    Gerry Simpson, the report’s author, said: “So far, police and soldiers in Sudan and Egypt helping traffickers kidnap and torture refugees have nothing to fear. Some police in eastern Sudan are so emboldened by their impunity, they hand refugees over to traffickers in police stations.”

    Some security officials in Egypt “even return escaped trafficking victims to their captors in Sinai”, he added.

    “The time has long passed for authorities in both countries to arrest and prosecute traffickers for these terrible crimes, and to have zero tolerance for security officials colluding with them.”

    Egypt had prosecuted one trafficker and no security officials up to December 2013; Sudan had launched 14 prosecutions of traffickers and four of police officers in connection with trafficking and torture.

    Source:Theguardian.com

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33 COMMENTS
  • hayal February 12, 2014

    Ahmed, I mean Hamed spell well the name is Isaias, you are a woyane wanna be Eritrean.

    • Nuredin February 12, 2014

      hayal
      The enemy of Eritrean people is not Weyane, the enemies are your lord DIA and his supporters like u.

    • ahmed omer February 12, 2014

      hayal in one word you are Hallai you do not know Eritrean history you are just repeating what your llying master have been said ,because your (tikmi ) with him .hallai do you know Shabia and wayane’s relationship before 1998 .
      hallai I challenge you if your grandfather and grandmother from Eritrea and I challenge you if your is clear from been killing Eritrean people beside Ethiopian army like your
      master killed Eritrean beside wayane army

  • Hawesha February 12, 2014

    The majority of the victims, one can say all most of the victims in the slave trade of Sudan and Egypt are christian The majority of the Eritreans victims in the hands of the Sudanese security guards are christian Eritreans and the majority of the victims of the Egyptian border guards are christian Eritreans and the majority of the Lampedusa tragedy on the Italian coast are Christians.
    There are many other ethnic Eritrean victims too though few in number in the Arab world, such the Afars in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. The point was made only with regard to the article and in the Egyptian Sinai victims.

    Why are the savage Arabs treating Eritreans this way?

    Listen also to what the recent victims Kasco and his wife million said in the assenna interview

    the report’s author, said: “So far, police and soldiers in Sudan and Egypt helping traffickers kidnap and torture refugees have nothing to fear. Some police in eastern Sudan are so emboldened by their impunity, they hand refugees over to traffickers in police stations.”

    • Saba February 12, 2014

      Please dont make it as a christian muslim issue.. those arabs or bedous or whatever you call those inhuman monsters are cruel to any black person.
      maaany muslims eritreans or sudanese and ethiopians have died.
      ofcourse if you are christian it gets in arab countries worse but trust me i know plenty eritrean muslims who got kidnapped and died in sinai or on their way.

      fact is, we as a community failed badly… i wanted to vomit especially after this sentence …

      “Some refugees have been forced to work for traffickers, as builders or domestic servants. One Bedouin leader in the Sinai, Sheikh Mohamed, told HRW: “I know of hundreds [of Eritreans] at this very moment who are forced to work on construction sites. They are building houses for the kidnappers, who pay for the construction materials with the ransom money.”

      • Nuredin February 12, 2014

        Thank you Saba. We are one and we should respect each other like we used to.

    • Nuredin February 12, 2014

      Non sense. This doesn’t have any connection with religion. It is the question of collecting money. All Muslims and Christians are the victims and will fight together.

      • Nahom February 13, 2014

        Nur
        You are right, it is not related to religion or ethnic because if it was so the rape, torture and killings should not have started in sawa and our beloved Eritrea on the hands of Christian officers of DIA who are also part in the business via their relation with Rashaida and the eastern Sudan Government which both of them are the allies of the mafia regime.

    • ahmed omer February 12, 2014

      hayal in one word you are Hallai you do not know Eritrean history you are just repeating what your llying master have been said ,because your (tikmi ) with him .hallai do you know Shabia and wayane’s relationship before 1998 .
      hallai I challenge you if your grandfather and grandmother from Eritrea and I challenge you if your is clear from been killing Eritrean people beside Ethiopian army like your
      master killed Eritrean beside wayane army

    • Berhe Tensea May 4, 2014

      The majority of those who flee the greatest leader, the Lion of Nakfa, the proud owner of the real estate called Eitrea are Christian highlanders, therefore what do you expect?
      The Eritrean generals who co operate with the trafikers also target mainly Asmarinos who can pay part of the ransom in Asmara. The criminals exactly know who to target for easy money.

  • Zufana February 12, 2014

    hayal,

    Some of us have done our National Services as well as participated/took part in a meaningless border war. However, we have done this as a duty and contribution to our Nation and definitely NOT to brag or boast about it to others. Those people who were not in a position to complete their National Services, they may have contributed by financial or other means to the development of their Nation. In short, best to be respectable and level headed on all.

  • Kabire February 12, 2014

    The article said, “Collusion between traffickers and Sudanese and Egyptian police and military is widespread, according to HRW, which says both countries are breaching their obligations under national and international anti-trafficking laws, international human rights law and national criminal law.”

    Did Sewra liberate us from the so called “feudal Ethiopia” to sell us as Arab slaves and to be Arab Abid? How were we liberated from Ethiopia if we are ending up as modern day Arab slaves to build the Arab houses, read pyramids, clean their houses and serve them as the Arabs’ sex slaves?

    What a brilliant transformation from life under “feudal Ethiopia” to a life of an Arab’s slave or Abid in Egypt, Libya and Sudan.
    Is this really called Liberation or freedom, Hurya or tahrir التحرير والحريةin their Arab language.

    What a sad joke! My brother and sister had died in Sewra for my sister to be an Arab sex slave and my nephew to build a small pyramid for a stinky Arab. What a shame!

    • ahmed omer February 15, 2014

      kabire
      look to be Arab slave or Abid who’s fault all Arabs could not grab one Eritrean to their countries your reasonable looks like someone stabbing elephant’s shadow I mean no one leave his country without reason there is Arab proverb (في البلد الما بلدك الأرنب يأكل فيه ولدك )so we have to honest and the blames are beside the idiot dictator regime who is assaulting Eritrean people by mass rape and slavery .Another example Syrian civil victims in neighbours countries what they are facing there and how is Eritrean refugee’s situation in Ethiopia how many of them killed by Ethiopian Authority in refugees camps and how many Ethiopians have got resettlement as Eritrean refugees (مصائب قوم عند قوم فوائد ) I am sure that you know Asiyas even punish dead human body .any one has lost his dignity in his country 100% is going to lose even himself .
      Dear kabier me and you if we do not respect our brothers for sure they are not going to get respect from others .Another example example Eritrean refugees in Israel have another stories from suffering .How come the end of Eritrean tragedy ?no way except one way which ,kicking the idiot dictator regime and uniting .

  • monicasalguero February 12, 2014

    Atum sebat: sheger hezbi Eritrawiyan kefetah ne Isayasn netom kulom, kab meadú ztejafelun, nmen-esey bitebito ze-etewún, Ezni Aytehabwom. Habirna adna neto.

  • hzbawi February 13, 2014

    All of you guys are as Eritreans
    No one of you have talk about the main cause. This is because the gang regime of pfdj all this
    Disasters comes from. So you guys better stand and oppose the Eritrean regime from everywhere. If we strongly devoted by the unity way that means change will come.

  • Freweyni February 13, 2014

    ክቡራት አርትራዊያን አሕዋትን አሓትን

    እዞም ከም ብዓል ሃያል፡ ሱልጣን፡ ኪዳነ ዝአምሰሉ ሃሱሳትን ጨካናትን ዝጽሕፍዎ ዘለው ነቶም ካብ ህዝቦም ንሰልጣን ዘቀምቱ ተቃወምቲ አካይዳኦም ዘይተዋሐጠልና’ሞ ካብአቶም እዚ ዘሎ ምስሽሕ ድኽመታቱ ይሓይሽ እንብል ብአገላልጻ ተቃወምቲ ክዳዓት እንበሃለ ዘጋታት ፈጺሞም አይውክሉን እዮም።ሓዘን ህዝብና ሓዘና እዩ ብኽያት ህዘብና በኸያትና ዓውት ህዝብና’ውን ዓወትና እዩ።

    ምስ ዝበዝሑ አብ ከባቢየ ማለት ዘለኽዎ ዓዲ ዘለዉ ሃገራዊያን ደገፈቲ ዘሎ መንግሰቲ ዝኾኑ፡ ዝኾነ ነገር ከም ናየ ላምባዱዛን ሲናይን ዘአምስል ዘሕዝን መዓንጣ ከብዲ ዝቆርጽ ነገራተ ከጋጥም ከሎ ንመያየጥ ኢና። ክሳብ ‘ዛ ሕጂ ንአካይዳን ፖሊስን ዘሎ መንግስቲ ድጊፉ አፉ መሊኡ ዝዛርብ ረኺበ አይፍልጥን እንታይ ድአ ናይ ኩሎም አመለኻኽታ እዚ ዘሎ መንግስቲ እንተተአልዩ በድሐሪኡ ሃገር እነታይ ክተከውን እያ መን እዩ’ኸ ዝርከባ እዞም ዘለዉ ተቃወምቲ እንተኾኑ ገና ስልጣን ከይሐዙ ዝናቆቱ ዘለው ሃገር ምርሑ ምስ ዘበሃሉ ሃገር አብ ውግእ ሕድሕድ ከትአቱ እያ ወይ ድማ ክትበታተን እያ ዝበል ፍርሂ ዘለዎም እዩም አነ እውን ከምኦም።

    ሃገር ክትምዕብልን ሰላም ከህሉን እነተኮይና ቅድም ቀዳድም አዞም መራሐቲ ተቃወምቲ ዝበሃሉ በሙሉኦም ተሓኺኾም ብሓቀኛታት ትተኪኦም አብ ሓደ ዘተጠርነፍ ግምባር ክምስረት አለዎ። ሽዑ አዚ ዘበዝሕ አማራጺ ስኢኑ ድጋፊ መነግሰቲ ኮየኑ ዘሎ ሀዝቢ ግልብጥ ብምባል ምሰቲ ግምባር ኮየኑ ነዚ ዘሎ መንግሰቲ አወጊዱ ዲሞክራሲ ዝሰፈና ሃገር ነምምስራት ንመሰሉ ክቃለስ እዩ። ናይ ሓባር ዓወት ዝመጽእ ድማ ሽዑ እዩ።

    ድጊም ክበሎ ዝደሊ ብዓል ሃያል፡ ሱልጣን፡ ኪዳነ ዝአምሰሉ ናይ ብሕቲ ቅርሕንቲ ምሰ ሀዝቢ አሪትራ ዘለዎም እምበር ንማንም ከምዘይውክሉ እዩ።

    ሃገርና አምላኽ አብ ዝሓሽ ይምረሓያ አመን።

  • Tezareb February 13, 2014

    To see the barbaric crimes on enslaved Eritreans committed by the Arabs,
    see the photos and read the full Human Rights Watch report below.

    It is reasonable to ask: why are most of the victims of the modern Arab slavery, Christian Eritreans?
    Only the criminal Arabs, their sympathizers and the regimes in Sudan and Egypt can answer:

    http://www.hrw.org/node/122893/section/3

    ——–

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