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Demand for probe into the Death of Asylum Seeker

Demand for probe into the Death of Asylum Seeker

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel calls upon the Israeli security forces to investigate the circumstances of the tragic death of a Sudanese asylum seeker and to establish clear regulations for the matter.

On Friday, 20 June 2006, a Sudanese asylum seeker was shot to death while trying to sneak across the Egyptian border into Israel, according to a report in Haaretz. This was verified by the IDF spokesperson's office.

In the last months several dozen Sudanese asylum seekers have arrived in Israel. These people fled the terrible war in the Darfur region of Sudan. Physicians for Human Rights-Israel issued warning several times recently regarding the asylum seekers' condition. These releases are available on the organization's website.

In spite of this reality, the security forces in Israel have yet to establish clear regulations regarding for identifying and treating the asylum seekers. Many of those fleeing for their lives in the hope of finding protection in Israel ultimately are treated in humiliating and violent manners, under the pretext that they present a security risk to Israel.

Sudanese asylum seekers are considered infiltrators and are imprisoned for long periods of time. The State of Israel applies the Infiltration Act from the 1950s on the asylum seekers- this law allows them to be imprisoned for an infinite amount of time without judicial review.

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and the Refugee Rights Clinic at the Law Department at Tel Aviv University sent today a letter to the JAG of the Israeli army demanding an investigation into the circumstances of the death of the Sudanese asylum seeker and the general actions of the Israeli soldiers in the matter. PHR-Israel calls upon the security forces to investigate the incident thoroughly and to establish regulations for the identification and treatment of asylum seekers who arrive seeking protection in Israel.

Israel has a moral obligation to act and to make certain that those requesting protection in the country will indeed receive it and will not find their death in the place they expected would protect their lives.


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