Yohannes T. Berhe
Yohannes T. Berhe signed Humanitarian Crisis - Eritrea Political Prisoners - Coronavirus (COVID-19) via Yosief Meharena 2020-03-28 18:52:04 -0700147 signatures
To WHO (World Health Organization), UN Secretariat, AU, Journalists
Without Borders, Amnesty International, Counties directly bordering Eritrea (Ethiopia & Sudan)
From Concerned Eritreans Worldwide (USA Charter)
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Recalling that Eritrea has been under an absolute dictatorship since the time of independence; that Dictator Isaias Afwerki had been found guilty of crimes against humanity at international court; Eritrea is today a failed nation with no accountability, constitution, press, university, freedom of movement, parliament, elections, etc. It is a country considered as the North Korea of Africa with a major refugee crisis (4th in the world) and indefinite military conscription where about 12 % of the youth has deserted it into life in asylum globally. Eritreans inside the country live under the surveillance of the regime; they don't have Internet access and no voice what so ever that speaks out on their behalf. This is a country that has totally shut off the life of its citizens in all aspects of society. Most of all, there is no neutral justice system that protects the society from random arrests and a disturbing number of our people are today perishing behind the bars without any form of contact with their loved ones.
Apparently, Eritrea today contains over 40,000 prisoners in over 300 jails and prisons all over the country. No journalists or visitors are allowed, the cells are overcrowded, with intolerable living and hygiene conditions and the prisoners sleep close to each other on the ground. They are very vulnerable to any type of contagious diseases and nobody knows how many of them have been dying through the years because of the closed and secretive nature of the regime.
In such a very challenging and difficult situation where the Coronavirus is attacking humanity in uncontrollable tenacity and speed, we believe every nation has taken proper steps to protect its society as part of the ongoing universal effort. Yet, we have not heard anything about how the Eritrean government is dealing with the crisis.
Information is denied to the people, the entire country is confused and helplessly waiting for the regime to do something about it. In so far as our knowledge is concerned, no effort has so far been taken and no protective direction given to the people concerning the virus as of today In light of this unfortunate reality, we concerned Eritreans worldwide are overly troubled about the condition of our people in general and the prisoners in particular vis-å-vis the virus. We believe the Eritrean Government does not care about the people and has the potential to use the crisis to further accentuate its crime against humanity within the county's extremely secretive prison enterprise. We, therefore, find it important to humbly remind the world to pay maximum attention specifically to the dehumanized Eritrean prisoners that are in an extremely critical situation and under the risk of extermination, should the virus attack that region. We appeal to the world community to seriously consider the potential danger ahead of its actuality; yet to avoid another humanitarian crisis in the country and the regional large.
Concerned Eritreans Word-wide (USA Charter)
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PETITION TO THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT
STOP DEPORTING ERITREAN REFUGEES TO RWANDA AND UGANDA
WE CALL ON ISRAEL TO RESPECT THE RIGHTS OF THE ERITREAN REFUGEES
THIS IS AN URGENT PLEA TO ALL ERITREANS TO SUPPORT OUR PEOPLE IN ISRAEL TO STOP THIS NEW UNJUST LAW AND TO GET THEIR HUMANE RIGHTS BY SIGING THE PETITION NOW.
The Knesset last week approved an amendment to the law concerning illegal entry into Israel. Now, African asylum seekers will receive only 80 percent of their salary, with their employer paying the remaining 20 percent – along with a 16-percent levy – to the government. This money will then be held in escrow and the asylum seeker will only receive it when he leaves Israel. And if he does not leave on a specified date, the money will be confiscated by the state.
The UN Refugee Convention prohibits Israel from returning them to their home countries, where their freedom and safety would be jeopardized. To overcome this problem, Israel invented the trick of “enforced voluntary return.” Hundreds of millions of shekels were invested in the Holot detention center, whose purpose is to break the asylum seekers’ spirits so they will sign a form consenting to return to their dangerous homelands.
Eritrea is a closed state, dubbed the North Korea of Africa, is driving the country into complete isolation. With thousands of political prisoners, severe cases of torture, and the vast majority of the population being subject to forced military conscription and labour for an indefinite period of time, Eritrea has become one of the top refugee producing countries. From those fleeing, many are falling victim of the global human trafficking and organ trade, often with the active involvement of Eritrea’s military officials.
Young Eritreans trying to escape the country's mandatory and indefinite national service program, go through the Sinai desert and seek refuge in Israel. Over 35,000 Eritreans are denied asylum status rights according to the UN Refugee Convention and are being held in an immigration detention camp in the Negev Desert called Holot. They are given three options, 1. stay indefinitely in the camp, 2. go back to Eritrea, the country they had fled from, or 3. they could agree to take $3,500 and depart secretly for a third country, namely Uganda and Rwanda, and this is against international law.
Those arriving in Uganda or Rwanda are not afforded any further rights, because they weren't coming from a war zone, but from a "safe" country that had promised under international law to uphold the rights of refugees.
They are given $3,500 , a travel document and a single-entry visa to Rwanda or Uganda, both issued in Israel - were immediately confiscated at Kigali or Entebbe airport. Once they arrive, they become victims of human trafficking.
Eritreans running away from the brutal dictatorship and headed to Israel risking their lives by crossing the sinai desert seeking refuge in Israel, but what they are going through is a nightmare.
Just a reminder to the Israeli government and people, the Eritrean people in their humble history have the tradition to stand with the truth. Eritreans believed in the Israeli homeland, and to attest that we will mention the following history.
During the struggle of Israelis for their homeland the late prime minister Shamir was in Eritrea in the late forties. the British soldiers were trying to arrest him. Our fathers did not allow that to happen and were able to keep Mr.Shamir in hiding and then leave the country safely. We always believe that Israelis as our brothers.
We are pleading to the Israel government, people of Israel, to understand our plight and suffering our Eritrean people are going through. All of these shall pass one day and we will remember our friends that gave us shelter when we needed them.
The State of Israel was one of the first to sign the Refugee Convention. If the State of Israel does not intend to respect the refugee convention, transfer the treatment of our asylum requests to the UNHCR.
We are Eritreans living and have citizenship in the following countries.
USA, European Union, Australia and Eritreans in all African countries are demanding from the Israeli government :
- Should abide by the UN Refugee Convention that Israel is a signatory.
- Give their cases to the UNHCR
- Release the Eritrean refugees from the detention camp “Holot” which is similar to a concentration camp.
- Stop deporting Eritrean refugees to Rwanda and Uganda illegally.
If the Israel government keeps mistreating the Eritrean and African refugees...
- We will hold demonstrations outside Israel Embassies in the USA and worldwide until our demands are met.
- We will involve the Pan African Movements in the USA and World Wide.
- We will educate all but specially the black people in Africa and African American in the USA of all the discrimination of our fellow Eritreans and Africans throughout Israel.
“Do not oppress the stranger, for you know the soul of the stranger, having yourselves been strangers in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 23:9)
ALL ERITREANS IN THE DIASPORA and Black People Worldwide STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE ERITREANS REFUGEES IN ISRAEL.