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Human rights organizations appeal to the Supreme Court against the detention of Eritreans who refused to leave for Rwanda: “Avoid imprisoning thousands of people because they aren’t willing to be sent to a dangerous place”

The Refugee Rights Clinic at the Tel Aviv University Law School, along with various human rights organizations, filed an appeal yesterday (Sunday November 29th) with the Supreme Court against the decision of the Be’er Sheva District court , that allows indefinite detention of asylum-seekers who refuse to leave Israel for a third country. The appeal was filed on behalf of two asylum-seekers, who in July, received notice that they would be indefinitely imprisoned in Saharonim Prison. The appeal was also filed on behalf of the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, The Assocation for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), The Aid Organizations for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (ASSAF), and the African Refugee Development Center (ARDC).

The organizations emphasize in the appeal that the court did not give enough weight to the evidence and testimonies provided, and that they have proven the serious harm that is at risk to asylum-seekers, who are left without any legal status or ability to stay in the third country for any suitable amount of time.

The organizations further mentioned that the court ignored the UNHCR statement that also noted the lack of status and work opportunities, lack of protection, and exposure to repeated arrest in third countries, and the UNHCR proposal to establish a monitoring mechanism on the implementation of this agreement, given evidence of Israel’s lack of monitoring of conditions. Another point mentioned was that this agreement is the only one of its kind, in that the third party is identified both as the recipient and the monitor of the agreement. Courts around the world have ruled on the importance of tight monitoring that sustain such agreements, and that a country cannot avoid its obligations by relying on promises of the recipient state, even more so when the conditions of the agreement are classified and not publically released.

In light of this, the organizations call on Supreme Court to prevent the imprisonment of those who refuse to leave for a third country – a country where their security, liberty and rights will not be guaranteed appropriately.