The founder of the NGO Ghandi Alganesh Fessaha tells the story of her compatriots traveling to Israel via Sinai. Between tremendous abuses and torture
”In Sinai they were made among the most serious crimes against humanity, let’s stop talking about resettlement and use the most correct word: deportations”. Dr. Alganesh Fessaha, 62, founder of the NGO Ghandi, has seen closely the horror experienced by the Eritrean refugees in Israel and, to save them (she has freed thousands of them), she risked her own life.
Of the 38 thousand migrants present in Israel, 28 thousand are Eritreans. What are they running from?
”In Eritrea the dictatorship of Isaias Afewerki, in power for 25 years, imposes military service on both men and women. Young people leave because they do not want to become slaves, as well as for lack of food and work ”.
You have reported and documented the abuses suffered by your people in Sinai. What happened to those who tried to enter Israel?
”Every kind of torture and horror. Once passed in Sudan, the migrants end up in the Bedouin passer network. Who is able to pay are asked for two thousand euros, then women, men and children, pass from hand to hand, even 5 times. And every time they are tortured, they ask their family members to pay their ransoms. I heard in person the phone calls and the cries of pain, I listened to the stories of torture with molten plastic, hair burned with kerosene, the beatings and the deprivation of food and water. I assure you, these are words that are not forgotten. Women and children are also raped 5 or 6 times a day. Those who are unable to pay are taken out of the organs. The bodies of those who did not make it have been abandoned in the desert without any burial ”.
What kind of life do the Eritreans who live in Israel have?
”They live mostly in the south of Tel Aviv. They are invisible, they are not entitled to health care, they do humble jobs and often end up in jail. Most women fall into the traffic of prostitution. The same fate is suffered by unaccompanied minors. And there are cases of discrimination and violence (in 2016 a boy died after they set him on fire) ».
The Netanyahu program foresaw the relocation to Rwanda and Uganda ….
”It is tragically ironic that countries like Israel and Rwanda whose populations have known genocide agree to deport thousands of people. With Rwanda, agreements were made in exchange for weapons without taking into account the suffering already suffered by these people. But it must be remembered how young Israelis took to the streets to protest these deportations ».
Who has been sent back to Rwanda and Uganda remains? ”No, most retreats the journey, perhaps trying the Libyan route to Italy.”