Israeli court ends instant 3-year detention for African migrants

Source: Reuters Author: Reuters Court strikes down law meant to deter illegal immigration * Human rights groups hail move, rightists angered * State has 90 days to decide fate of hundreds of inmates By Allyn Fisher-Ilan JERUSALEM, Sept 16 (Reuters) -

Source: Reuters

Author: Reuters

Court strikes down law meant to deter illegal immigration

* Human rights groups hail move, rightists angered

* State has 90 days to decide fate of hundreds of inmates

By Allyn Fisher-Ilan

JERUSALEM, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Israel’s supreme court on Monday struck down a year-old law that meant African migrants could be held in detention for up three years without charge.

The law, that came into force in June last year, was meant to deter illegal immigration but was condemned by human rights campaigners as a harsh and illegal way of treating people, especially those fleeing persecution and seeking asylum.

A right-wing lawmaker said the court’s ruling risked damaging the character of Israel – a state built on Jewish immigration – by opening the door to more Africans.

Chief Justice Asher Grunis said the law contradicted Israel’s legal guarantees of basic democratic freedoms, and “therefore, it ought to be cancelled”.

Grunis called the three-year term of detention “illegitimate constitutionally” and noted few inmates would have been likely to be released early as Israel would be unable to deport them to their countries of origin, mostly Eritrea and Sudan.

The court’s nine-judge panel gave the state up to three months to decide the fate of hundreds of migrants held under the law in desert detention centres.

More than 50,000 African migrants have entered Israel since 2006, many receiving temporary permits to live in impoverished parts of Tel Aviv, a situation that has aggravated social tensions.

Yariv Levine, a senior lawmaker in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party, accused the court on his Facebook page of making a “mad decision to turn Israel from a Jewish state into one of all its immigrants”.

Netanyahu said he would seek ways to observe the court’s decision while “implementing our determined policy that has already curtailed the infiltration,” and, he said, encouraged thousands of migrants to leave.

Liberal legislator Michal Rozin, chairwoman of a parliamentary committee on foreign workers, called the court ruling a welcome move “to stop anti-democratic legislation” and hoped it heralded a change in Israeli policy toward asylum seekers.

The government says most Africans reaching its borders are economic migrants rather than asylum seekers. Rights groups accuse it of being slow to review requests for refugee status.

Many Eritrean migrants say they have fled political repression, while many Sudanese say they have escaped civil strife, mostly in the Darfur region.

A newly fortified border fence with Egypt has effectively halted the arrivals across a once porous frontier, with government figures showing none having crossed since August after a peak of more than 2,000 a month in late 2011.

Interior Minister Gideon Saar said a month ago that Israel was seeking an arrangement to deport most of the Africans to another country, which an Israeli lawmaker confirmed to Reuters was Uganda.

Uganda’s Foreign Ministry has denied having agreed to absorb any African migrants from Israel. (Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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4 COMMENTS
  • Keren September 19, 2013

    We thank the Israelis and the Jews activists and lawyers who laboured, argued and worked hard against their own government without any pay/ pro-Bono.

    We thank them and we will never forget.

    We will also not forget when the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) medics and army members received and welcomed, the tortured and almost left for dead Eritrean refugees, with food and water, and provided the best first aid care ever in the region, for poorly held and enslaved Eritreans from the Egyptian side of the border some with fresh gun shots inflicted by the Egyptian border guards. Sometimes the Israelis helped us at the risk of the lives of the IDF members.
    We will never the three IDF members who were shot and killed by terrorists from Sinai Egypt while they were providing food and water to fresh refugees who had just crossed the Israeli fences from Egypt.
    Dear Israelis, as refugees from the worst nation in Africa and passing through hostile and bad experiences in the hand of the Arabs, we may have said, misbehaved and committed crimes in your land, please forgive us because we are going through the worst mental crisis.
    Whatever the final decision is in Israel, we will never forget your fratitude because Israel has given refuge and temporary home to more than forty thousand Eritreans when we arrived from hell in Eritrea and the Arab world.
    I do not have words to express how the Arab media, intellectuals, Shieks, army, Arab Bedouin, Arab governments treated and betrayed us in the time of our dire need because they sold us as slaves, harvested our organs, raped and sexually abused us all men, women and children. Among the Arabs in Sudan, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Dijouti … we were humiliated and treated far below their goats.

    dear Israeli supreme court, this is what makes you decision historical, thank you a lot.

  • Bokre September 20, 2013

    Many thanks to the Israeli Supreme Court, the Israelis and Eritrean civic organizations. Even though the Israeli government has reasonable security issues in the region, the Israelis have an obligation to protect the legitimate asylum seekers from Eritrea, if not the Israeli government needs to consult with the UN, US, Australia, Canada and Germany to resettle the refugees permanently.
    “Liberal legislator Michal Rozin, chairwoman of a parliamentary committee on foreign workers, called the court ruling a welcome move “to stop anti-democratic legislation” and hoped it heralded a change in Israeli policy toward asylum seekers.”

  • Deki adi September 24, 2013

    To Dear Reader concerned Eritrean we have to read out and also think trice for mutual benefits of the population at large.
    The real history of Tigray-Tigrigna, abysinia is clearly indicates we couldn’t hide the real hisory of human being according to novelist writers of the world the development of North Ethioppia specially Tigray tigrigni was locally written as follow ታሪክ ራሱን ይደግማል እንዲሉ ከአፄ ዮውሓንስ ሞት በኋላ ግማሽ አካለችን የሆነው ከምጽዋ እስከ መረብ ያለው አገር ዳግም ላይመለስ ተቆርሶ ሂዷል:: ጣልያኖች እና ምኒሊካውያን ኢትዮጵያን ማሸነፍ የሚቻለው የትግራይን ህዝብ እርስ በራሱ በማጣላት ካለሆነ በጦርንት እንደማይሆንላቸው በማወቃቸው ጥንታዊት ኢትዮጵያን ለሁለት በመገዝገዝ ግማሹን በጣልያን እጅ የተቀረው ደግሞ በሸዋ እጅ እንዲሆን የተሳካ ሴራ ጠንስሰው ኣሳክተዋል:: ከአድዋ ድል በኋልም የድሉ ባለቤቶች የነበሩት ራስ አሉላ አባነጋ: ራስ ሓጐስ ምርጫ (የኢሳያሰ አፈወርቂ ቅድመ ኣያት) እርስበርስ ተባልተው በመሞታቸው እነዲሁም ራስ መንገሻ ዮውሓንስ ወደ ሸዋ ተወስዶ ባልዋለው ውንጀላ በመገደሉ ምክንያት ትግራይ ያለ ተቆረቋሪ ኣባት (በዘይ ኣያ) ቀረታለች:: ይህንንም ተከትሎ በሸዋ ሰዎች አሻሸጭነት ሰራየ እና አካለ ጉዘይ በ 5 ሚሊዮን ሊሬ እንደተቸበቸበ ታሪክ አንብበን እብረዳ:: የሽሬ ኣካል የነበረው የአሁኑ ባርካ: የኣጋመ ኣካል የነበረው ደንከል ከትገራይ ተቆረጠው ወደ ትግራይ የነፍጥ መተላለፍያ ቀዳዳ ለመዝጋት በምስጠራዊ ውል ያለ ትግራይ መሳፍንት እውቅና ለጣልያን እንደተሰጡ እንረዳ:: ወልቃይት: ፀለምቲ: ፀገዴ: ታሕታይ አርማጭሆ: ሰቲተ ሑመራ: ጋሽ ሰቲት: ተሰነይ: ከሰላ ግማሹ ለጣልያን የተቀረው ከተከዜ በስተደቡብ ያለው ምንም ታሪካዊ ትስስረ ወደ ሌለው የቤገምድር ግዛት እንደተጠቃለለ ኣንርሳ:: እንዲሁም ከመስዋእቲ እስከ አለዋህ ያለው የትግራይ መሬት በወሎ ክፍለሃገር ስር እንደተደረገ እናስታውስ:: ውንድማችን የሆነው የዋግ ህዝብ ቋንቋውን እና ብሄራዊ ማንነቱን ትቶ ሳይሆን ኣማራ የሆነበት ሰበብ እናሰተውል:: ልብ እንበል እውነት ለመናገር እኔ ከአሉላ በስተቀር ከላይ የተዘረዘትን የትግራይ መሳፍንት በእኔ እበልጥ ለጠላት ስላጋለጡን ኣልወዳቸውም: ኣለከብራቸወም:: በእርግጠኛነት የምናገርው ግን መንገሻ ዮውሓንስ በህይውት እያለ ወንሞቻቸን የሰራየ እና አካለ ጉዘይ ሰዎች ኣይሸጡም:: ባይሳካ እንኳ ሙሉ በሙሉ በጣልያን እጅ ወድቃ ኣንድነትዋን ጠብቃ ነፃ ትሆን ነበር:: ቀድመው በውጫሌ ውል ኣንቀፅ 3 መሰረት ለጣልያን የተሰጡት ሓማሴኖችም መጨረሻ ይመለሱ ነበር::
    ስለዚህ በኛ መካከል ለሚፈጠር አለመስማማት እዳው አንተም እኔም እንደምንሸከመው አንርሳ:: ስለዚህ ቢቻል የአንድ ሸሕ ዘመን የባርነት ዕዳ ያራገፈልንን ህዝባዊ ተጋድሎ ከንቱ እንዳይቀር ጠንቀቅ መሪዎቻችንን እንምከር:: በመጨረሻ የእስራኤል መሪ ቤነጃሚን ኔትንያሁ ባለፈው ዓመት የዒራን ሐገረ ፋርስ የኒኩሌር ውጥን ኣስመልክቶ በተመድ ጠቅላላ ጉባዔ ያለውን ላስታውሳችሁ “history will not give second chance to the Jew people; this is a chance that we have gotten in 2000 years, therefore we should not let the Iranians possess the devastating weapon” ብተመሳሳሊ ትግራይውን ታረክ ኣብ ሓደ ዘመን (1000 ዓመት) ዝረኸበቶ ዕድል ብከንቱ ከይኣጥፋእና ኣብዙርያ ጥንክርቲን ምዕብልቲን ትግራይ ንሓገረ ኢትዮጵያ ዳግም ንሀድሳ እብል:: ትግራይ ምስትደክም ኢትዮጵያ ሓቢራ ትደኽም: ትግራይ ምስትጥንክር ኢትዮጵያ ብምልእታ ትነቓቓሕ::
    As an Eritrean we have to appreciate the following issues of colony.
    We have to take care on the imported identity and culture
    We have to believe we are genuine or orginal African
    We have to belive we are not originated from sea or rock
    We have to belive the genetical make up of human being whether from dega or Kebessa we are not fabricated in Merengi as a bottle or soap or omo of SAPE. We are not expected to exaggerate ourselves which was spent on the 6 type of colony. We have to believe still we are not getting our identity until We have to know the victim of Colonialism in the World as an EritreanOur appeal to history begins with a powerful simplification. It concerns the social psychology of European colonialism, built largely around stereotypes that have shaped perceptions and conflict for five centuries. One such perception was the idea among Europeans that non-European native people or colonial subjects were “backward,” trapped in their tradition. The experience of colonial rule encouraged this image, as European and non-European cultures compared one another within a relationship in which Europe had a powerful social-psychological advantage rooted in its missionary and military-industrial apparatus. This comparison was interpreted, or misinterpreted, as European cultural superiority. It was easy to take the next step and view the difference as “progress,” something the colonizers could impart to their subjects.
    Colonialism is the subjugation by physical and psychological force of one culture by another—a colonizing power—through military conquest of territory and caricaturing the relation between the two cultures. It predates the era of European expansion (fifteenth to twentieth centuries) and extends to Japanese colonialism in the twentieth century and, most recently, Chinese colonization of Tibet. Colonialism has two forms: colonies of settlement, which often eliminate indigenous people (such as the Spanish destruction of the Aztec and Inca civilizations in the Americas), and colonies of rule, where colonial administrators reorganize existing cultures by imposing new inequalities to facilitate their exploitation.
    Nowadays being an Eritrean becomes shameful due to the colonies Era, they shaped us towards their own bad sentiment and that is way we couldn’t took reliable Evidence on our identity. We are discriminating each other without any objective.
    Wedi Keren
    God Bless Eritrea
    ————————————–ወስብሐት ለእግዚአብሔር

    • ahmed saleh September 24, 2013

      HADE HADE GHIZYE SUK TEUM YIBLU ABOTATNA ! When you see unconvincing arguments better step back if you feel
      not worthy to involve in discussion out the real subject in question ..

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