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Reexamine the Summons for Detention of Asylum-Seekers who Are Fathers

The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants sent an urgent appeal to the head of the Foreigners Department at the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Yossi Edelstein, demanding him to halt and reexamine the summons for detention given to asylum-seekers who have families in Israel.

The letter, that was sent on Tuesday, December 31, describes the Ministry of Interior’s contradictory policy on the matter: On December 29, 2013, the Ministry of Interior stated to Israeli media that “at this point, infiltrators [the term the State of Israel uses to label people who elsewhere are considered asylum-seekers] who have families [in Israel], are not summoned to the open center [“Holot”]. This is checked before the summons is issued”.

Despite this statement, the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants was contacted by dozens of asylum-seekers who have families in Israel and received summons to “Holot”, without undergoing a hearing or an interview, and without being able to present their claims. To this letter were attached the details of some of those people, while the Hotline continues to receive similar calls on the matter.

Among other cases, the letter details that of Mesgun Maashu, an Eritrea asylum-seekers who has a steady job and supports his wife who is four-months-pregnant. The letter states that “his wife has no other relative in Israel who can support her during the pregnancy and when raising their child, and if Mr. Maashu will be detained in the Holot facility, his child will grow up without a father and his wife will have to raise their child without any support.”

“It should be mentioned that the Anti-Infiltration Law states that families, women and children will not be interned in the Holot facility. Therefore, detaining men who have families there means tearing them apart from their family”, mentioned Adv. Nimrod Avigal in the letter.

The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants asks to halt the execution of the summons received by asylum-seekers who have families in Israel and to reexamine them.