Refugee Hostage Crisis in Northern Sinai Getting
WorseSeeking refuge in Israel, 250 young Eritrean
men, women and children have been captured by human traffickers on the Egyptian
side of the border with Gaza, and are suffering rape, torture, murder, organ
trafficking, and lack of food and water while their captors attempt to extort
money from relatives. A small number have been released when funds come through.
But when someone cannot find the ransom, kidneys have been taken, and the
individuals have disappeared. The situation is deteriorating, and the world has
chosen to observe their plight with indifference.
Now the group
of young migrants (between 20/25 years of age) and children has been divided
into two. About 140 people are still in Rafah, in the orchard near the mosque,
the church turned into a school, a government building. The authorities know
where it is and who the kidnappers are. But do not act. 90/100 refugees have
been moved elsewhere. We remind you that 8 Eritreans have been killed by the
traffickers, while four were taken to an illegal clinic where criminal doctors
have removed their kidneys. These four have disappeared. Those who have had the
ransom paid, thanks to relatives in Europe, are taken to the border with Israel.
A total of 24 Africans have reached Israel and have been identified. Others have
been arrested by Egyptian border police. We do not know how many migrants have
been arrested. All prisoners have suffered violence and torture.
Others were arrested by Egyptian border police. We
do not know how many. It is also likely that small groups of refugees were able
to cross into Israel, as the border checks are not always impenetrable and the
traffickers know where security is weakest. All the prisoners have been
subjected to violence and torture. Each paid $ 2,000 on entering Egypt, but the
kidnappers have demanded a further payment of 8,000. Some of them have mobile
phones and continue to call relatives, begging them to pay the money. Payments
are made through Western Union or a bank account in Egypt.
The Egyptian government and the UN have received
(through EveryOne Group and Habeshia) the full names of some of the traffickers. They have also been given the phone numbers of some of the traffickers. But they are doing nothing about it. Edited statement by EveryOne Group
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1. Hamas torturing 250 Eritreans
in Egypt ynetnews
2. Egypt Plays Down Reported Eritrean Refugee Hostage Crisis In Sinai asnarino.com/news
3. The pope lifts the lid on Sinai's tortured Eritrean refugees everyonegroup.com
Good newsThe Minister of Internal
Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt claims that they cannot send the army or
the police to the smugglers' hideout, due to an agreement with Israel. He says
he cannot carry out an operation against the traffickers - who are armed to the
teeth - since Egypt has signed a pact with Israel pledging not to carry heavy
weapons near the border. The traffickers are armed with modern weapons. We
explained to our new partner in this difficult mission that it could be
extremely useful to ask the Israeli Government to allow the use of heavy weapons
by Egypt in order to free the hostages, and possibly even participate in the
operations, taking advantage of Israel's unmatched experience in combatting
terrorism. It would also be a way of bringing the two countries closer together.
Another initiative taken by EveryOne Group against the smuggling of human
beings, was to make a first contact with the Bedouin tribes of Sinai. We
appealed to them in a letter to oppose the hateful trafficking in migrants,
slaves and organs. On January 15th, on the initiative of the al-Tarabin tribe,
all the Bedouin chiefs will sign an official document stating their commitment
against trafficking, in cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior and local
authorities. This is one more important step on a difficult road to civility and
What Can Israel Do?
New DevelopmentsA major Israeli organization that works to prevent and
resolve humanitarian crises in the Middle East is now collaborating with
EveryOne Group in an attempt to free the 250 African refugees being held by
traffickers and to encourage the Egyptian Government and international
institutions to begin an effective, long-term operation to combat trafficking in
human beings and organs.
The New Year has seen the creation of a new project
that germinates in a world in flames, from the perspective of human rights.
There are too many children, too many women, too many men without rights; and
the democratic world, focusing on its own idea of health and safety, has chosen
to observe their plight with indifference. The situation of the African migrants
in northern Sinai is deteriorating all the time.
Why is this
migration thing important to us?
It has been a part of man since the beginning. No
creature on the face of the planet has had the capability to adapt to different
environments, and do so as quickly as man.
It is part of our makeup, to move, to find new
horizons, to better our existence, to provide a better life for our children.
But there has been an opposite impulse throughout history, and that has been
the attempt, once settled, to keep out those who would follow.
But what we tend to forget is that we ourselves did
it, or our ancestor's ancestors did it, and that our migration, or migration in
general, has been the basis of our success and of our continuing ability to
survive and grow.
And yet when things get tight, when we perceive
that the newcomers are becoming too many, when they are 'different from us'
(forgetting that once we were them), it is then that we start to close down. Not
appreciating the fact that it is these newcomers with their drive to survive, and to
do better for themselves and their children, who can provide what our ailing economies need.
This is particularly true in rapidly changing landscapes in terms of core industries, and the need for fresh
talent, and fresh ideas, to find solutions we so desperately need.
But what if
But what if they overtake us in terms of
population, what if they become a drain on our economy, what if our dwindling
resources are spent to solve their problems?
And this is where we miss the point completely. We
actually will not survive without them - both in the short run and certainly in the long run.
In actuality, they take less than the rest of us, they produce more for us than
we do, they are trying so hard to adapt that they abide by our laws better than
we do. They, in fact, are the future, and together, their children and our children
can provide a better futue than we could ever provide if we kept ourselves to ourselves and kept them all out.
We forget that it has always been the immigrant,
the migrant (legal or illegal) who has built us to where we are today. And we
are thinking of closing and locking the door? It is the height of folly.
Xenophobia is truly our worst enemy.