Crisis for Eritrean Refugees in Israel
This is a message sent by an Eritrean from Tel Aviv, Israel*
(translation by The America Team)
June 15, 2012 We are struggling in unity here, to foil the Eritrean regime’s conspiracy on Eritrean identity in the State of Israel. As if forcing us to flee our country and leave our people behind was not enough, time and again PFDJ’s [the sole political unit in Eritrea] intention not to see the revival of Eritrean identity and keep the country devoid of the rule of law is being clearly seen from its current activities in Israel.
Pursuing the recent uprising of some racist Israelis demanding the expulsion of black people from Israel, PFDJ is carrying out secret meetings with some Israeli officials to take advantage of the circumstances to put us in its trap of disrupting Eritrean identity. The Israeli minister of interior is having special cooperation with PFDJ in this respect.
1. Primarily, when some Eritreans went to his office to renew their work permit, they found their nationality written as Sudanese, replacing their Eritrean identity. The idea behind this is to prepare them for deportation under the guise of being Sudanese.
2. However, when Israeli authorities decided that Eritreans would be next following the deportation of Sudanese immigrants, the Ministry of Interior started creating close relations never seen before with the Eritrean embassy. The embassy was highly encouraged by these developments and intensified the sale of passports to the immigrants for $2,000 each, telling them that they could protect themselves from deportation by being passport holders. Passport sales centers were opened in some places. For example, in Tel Aviv, where I live in, a new passport sales center was opened in an area called Afdod.
3. The most surprising event happened yesterday June 14 when this same minister visited the Eritrean embassy at 12:00 pm local time, for more than 3 hours. We had individuals following up the outcome of the incident from inside the embassy and here is what they learned from that visit: The minister made a phone call to Asmara and discussed Eritrean immigrants with General Abraha Kassa (PFDJ head of security). Abraha informed the minister that the Eritrean economy was growing and that the initial cause of migration was not a political problem but the search for better economic opportunities. Abraha Kassa further reiterated that the immigrants had already accumulated a substantial amount of money and even own residential buildings back at home. He assured the minister that Eritrea happily accepts the return of these immigrants and expressed his gratitude to the minister hypocritically as if his government is mindful of its citizens.
4. Thus, both sides reached an agreement that all Eritrean immigrants be returned to their country. The cost of transport would be covered by the Israeli government. Tesfamariam Tekeste, the PFDJ ambassador could not find enough words to describe his happiness. On the other hand, there is no doubt that PFDJ is at its peak of preparedness to make sure that thousands of these immigrants get punished as it always did in the past to secure its positions from dissent.
5. On June 15, [at least some part of] the Israeli government reached an agreement with a Russian Air transport agency. According to the agreement, all Eritreans rounded up are to be sent back to their country.
But we, the immigrants will never kneel down to PFDJ conspiracy! We will never go back to the blood-sucker government. We have taken the stand not to fall prey to all conspirators and have decided to even sacrifice our lives rallying ourselves under the motto, Democracy or Death.
We urge all Eritreans and friends of Eritrea to convey our message so that the world can understand our problem. Since PFDJ is the cause of all that is happening now, PFDJ will be solely responsible for all consequences arising from this situation. If we have to leave Israel, we need to be given a certain time frame to decide our own choices of destination. Other than that, we want the world to understand that we will never go back to Eritrea where enslavement or torture, including death are waiting for us.
*Identity of the writer is omitted for safety and security reasons.