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The government of Israel has recently announced that it will start to forcibly deport refugees and asylum seekers to Rwanda. The Israeli media announed yesterday that Rwanda will recieve $5000 for each refugee deported from Israel. The response of the human rights NGOs (HRM – Hotline for Refugees and Migrants; ACRI – The Association for Civil Rights in Israel; Amnesty international-Israel; Kav Laoved – Worker’s Hotline; Physicians for Human Rights – Israel; Assaf – Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel and ARDC – African Refugee Development Center): Israel and Rwanda have reached a new low point and began to sell and buy asylum seekers whom they referred to as “working hands” for the price of $ 5,000 per head. It is impossible to put a price on human lives and this practice must stop immediately. Israel has a moral, historical and international obligation to protect asylum seekers and must take responsibility for the people who reached its borders looking for asylum. Instead, the government has chosen to abuse them, criminalize them, deprive them of their basic rights, imprison them and sell them as “working hands” to African countries. It is disgraceful that Rwanda agreed to trade in human lives and buy refugees from Israel. It is inconceivable that the State of Israel, who pushed to establish international protection for refugees in 1951, will deport them in 2017, forcing them into a dangerous journey in search of asylum

The Human Rights Organizations’ (Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, ACRI – Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Amnesty International Israel, Kav LaOved, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, ASSAF Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers and ARDC) statement in reponse to Ministers Erdan and Deri’s public statement on closing down Holot and deporting Asylum Seekers

“The Holot detention centre, an issolated prison that was meant to make asylum seeker’s lives miserable, should have been forbidden in the first place. From the words of Minister Erdan it is clear that the government was lying to the High Court when they denied that the purpose of Holot was to make asylum seekers leave Israel. Holot needs to shut down immediately and instead of a policy of opression, lies to the High Court, detention and deportation, the government should fulfill the moral and legal obligations of Israel to protect asylum seekers and ensure their right to live in dignity.”