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ERITREAN PUNISHED IN AN ISRAELI COURT

ERITREAN FOUND GUILTY OF ROBBERY GIVEN HARSH SENTENCE

TO DETER “FOREIGN CITIZENS”

By Noam Wiener

The Tel Aviv District Court, roughly comparable to a circuit court in the American federal system, sentenced on Wednesday an Eritrean refugee convicted of aggravated robbery to four and a half years imprisonment. Explaining the harsh sentence, he cited the need to deter “foreign citizens” from committing crimes.

Without detracting from the brutality of the individuals who attacked refugee shops and cars last week, this is a far more insidious form of racism. And if anybody was so deluded into thinking that only the less fortunate lower classes are so racist, Judge Zvi Gurfinkel has proven that the virus of racism against African refugees is firmly ingrained in the system.

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UNHCR REPORT ON WORLDWIDE REFUGEES

UN COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES REPORTS ON STATE OF THE WORLD’S REFUGEES

REPORT WARNS OF WORSENING GLOBAL DISPLACEMENT

NEW YORK, May 31 (UNHCR) – The head of the UN refugee agency, António Guterres, warned today that factors causing mass population flight are growing and that the coming 10 years will see more and more people on the move becoming refugees or internally displaced persons.

In comments marking the launch of a flagship UNHCR book, The State of the World’s Refugees: In Search of Solidarity, Guterres said displacement from conflict is becoming compounded by a combination of causes; including climate change, population growth, urbanization, food insecurity, water scarcity and resource competition. All these factors are interacting with each other increasing instability and conflict and forcing people to move. In a world that is becoming smaller and smaller, finding solutions, he said, will need determined international political will.

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KIDANE – STORY OF A REFUGEE

KIDANE – THE STORY OF A REFUGEE
An Eritrean Refugee shares his story with school children in Malta

The Jesuits Refugees Services (JRS) have deviced a strategy to introduce the Maltese public with the recent flood of refugees in the island nation. A booklet prepared by an Eritrean refugee in Malta itself has been distributed to all the elementary schools, for the children to read. Maltese artists and editors contributeted to give the script its final shape.
To read about it, click here

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KUNAMA REFUGEES SET FREE

 

KUNAMA REFUGEES IN THE US
FOUND NOT GUILTY OF TERRORISM SUSPICIONS
By Amanda Les Myers (AP)

 

PHOENIX (AP) – All charges have been dropped against three Kunama refugees who were accused of putting a fake bomb through security at Phoenix’s airport in a possible “dry run” for a terror attack.  U.S. District Judge Neil Wake dropped the charges against Luwiza Daman, Asa Shani and Shullu Gorado on March 13 at the request of a federal prosecutor who cited new information in the case, according to court documents obtained Thursday.  “Based on the new information, further prosecution is not in the interest of justice,” wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Koehler in his motion to dismiss the charges.

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Resolution on Human Trafficking in Sinai

ARE THE DAYS OF HUMAN TRAFICKING COMING TO AN END?
ISRAEL DETAINS BEDOUIN TRAFICKER 
EUROPE LEADS THE CAMPAIGN

BEDUIN CHARGED WITH REFUGEE ABDUCTION AND EXTORTION IN SINAI

Monday, March 26, 2012
‘The indictment is a “positive step forward for police and a positive recognition of the problem, but added that “the next step is to recognize them as victims and give them the treatment they need through state health and welfare services.”    For more about the story, click here 

 EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PASSES RESOLUTION ON HUMAN TRAFICKING IN SINAI

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The European Parliament has just issued a resolution on human trafficking in Sinai. To read the whole resolution click here

WHAT ARE THE AFRICAN UNION, IGAD, ARAB LEAGUE DOING ABOUT IT?

Human traficking, is a phenomenon flourishing in all parts of the world, from South Asia, to Latin America, East Europe to Europe and North America. Billions of dollars are extorted, human parts are harvested and traded, slaves are marketed, costless human labour is provided. Of course, the busines prosper according to the demand and offer conditions. There are  the commissioners, the profiteers,  and the emissaries. The European parliament resolution issued on March 16 in Brusselles focuses mainly on the Afro-Arab- Middle East cases: victims are Eritreans, Ethiopians, Somalis, South Sudanese, Sudanese, (and who knows who else) migrants and refuge claimants. The phenomenon is involving the Sudanese refugee camps, Egyptian passes through the desert, the Sinai Peninsula oases, the Egyptian-Israeli borders. Similar phenomena are being witnessed in the Libya-Egypt, Libya-Tunisia borders and corridors, and Yemen. It is a widely decried crime against the most basic human values, against any social behavior and religious principles. Unfortunately, the African coasts have witnessed for centuries Arab predatory incursions, slavery trade, and lack of any human compassion towards black Africans. While slavery was outlawed for centuries in the rest of the world, in many parts of the Middle East it is still flourishing and accepted. Of course, most of the times Africans are the defenseless victims. Where are the AU, IGAD, COMESSA, Arab League, expected to be the champions of human and African dignity? No one can force Egypt to live up to its commitments, to defend the powerless migrants, to bring to the law these remorseless traffickers and their commissioners? What about the superpowers, the preachers from the world forums: does just one article on a newspaper or a documentary on a TV channel enough to placate the pangs of the conscience? So far it is only poorly subsidized non profit organizations who have managed to move the European Union into action.  Of course, this resolution is toothless: no reward and no challenge is attached with its compliance or lack of it.  Yet, it is the first official and comprehensive resolution. And what is more interesting is that the Parliament of 22 European nations are pleading with Egypt to protect SOLOMON, a defenseless, powerless, escapees from his captors, practically roaming, or worse holed up, somewhere in the desert. This is indeed a case where ‘THE INDIVIDUAL ERITREAN COUNTS’. I wish the other above mentioned organizations would show same level of attention, compassion, and would be willing to strike a deal with Egypt, Israel, the Beduins, etc.!!!!!!!!!!! Even if only on the paper. One day, sooner rather than later, isuch resolutions would provoke a qualitative jump . . .

The scourge and infamy, in fact,  will be lifted only when human consciences in the Middle East, African Governments, Beduin leaders, Israeli Authorities will be awakened. When mass media, universities, schools, courts of justice, preachers in mosques and churches,  people in authority, celebrities, etc. will join resources to denounce in unison this shameful and inhuman crime, when trafickers will be persued by the law, and when profitters from such a shame will be made pay for it.

Christians and Jews are about to celebrate the Pascha or Passover (the crossing of the Red Sea) that marked the proclamation of freedom, of reclaimed human and spiritual dignity and equality with other human beings.)  Thousands in the inhospitable land of Sinai, but also in many other parts of the world, even outside the Middle East, are still suffering different forms of humiliating and degrading forms of slavery. May this year’s Easter – Passover be a call for all of us to wake up and shoulder our responsibilities towards these unfortunate victims. It could have been any of us, or of our dear ones.

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CATHOLIC CHAPEL IN REFUGEES CAMP DAMAGED

CHAPEL IN THE CHOUCHA REFUGEE CAMP IN TUNISIA DAMAGED

READ IN HTTP:HABESHIA.BLOGSPOT.COM

It happened the night between Sun and Sat, Feb 26 and Feb 27. No one was injured, and so far no clear motivation was given for the vandalic action. According to the Tunisian military officer, who visited the place, the damage was allegedly caused by a strong wind. One wonders though how can only the tent of the chapel be damaged, while surrounding tents were untouched . . .  Anyway, for the moment, it was thought safer to move the Christian place of worship to the Eritrean section of the camp. The UNHCR requested and inquest into the matter.

For more details, read Abba Mussie’s report on the story   http:habeshia.blogspot.com

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ITALY CONDEMNED FOR REFUGEES REFUSAL

Italy condemned by European Court of Human Rights

 

Local News — 23 February 2012 — 13:15CEST

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has ruled that by pushing migrants back to Libya, Italy violated the European Convention on Human Rights and in particular the principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits returning migrants to countries where they may face persecution or inhuman or degrading treatment.

The case concerns the first push-back operation carried out in May 2009 when the Italian authorities intercepted a boat carrying about 200 Somalis and Eritreans, including children and pregnant women. These migrants were taken on board Italian ships, forced back to Tripoli and handed over to the Libyan authorities against their will.

The emigrants were not informed on their real destination and were led to believe that they were heading towards the Italian coast. 11 Somalis and 13 Eritrean, traced and assisted by the Italian Council for Refugees (CIR) in Libya after their refoulement, lodged a complaint against Italy to the EctHR.

The Court fully condemned Italy for violation of three fundamental principles: that no one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the right to an effective remedy and the prohibition of collective expulsions.

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REFUGEE SEARCHING MACHINE

LOST AND FOUND FOR REFUGEES

nullRefugees Signing up for the Service

At the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.

By MOLOUK Y. BA-ISA

Published: Feb 15, 2012 21:56 Updated: Feb 15, 2012 21:56

Lebanon, Iraq, Libya and now Syria — violence in so many places in the Middle East has torn loved ones apart. Men and boys may be forced into hiding. Women and children run for their lives. Too often it’s impossible to go back to the place that once was home.

According to the UN’s High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), in 2010 the number of people forcibly displaced worldwide reached 43.7 million. This includes internally displaced people (IDP) and those who have crossed their national borders and become refugees. Every minute, eight people flee their homes to escape conflict or persecution. Famine also drives people to the desperate decision to abandon everything.

In 2005, David and Christopher Troensegaard Mikkelsen met Mansour, a young Afghan refugee. Mansour had reached safety in Copenhagen, but he was desperate to find his family. David and Christopher wanted to help but soon found out how hard it was to search for missing relatives. Since none of the family tracing programs used collaborative technology, a lot of time was spent filling out the same forms in different offices. This silo effect meant that information wasn’t shared and families weren’t being reunited.

“In a very short time we were able to see that the best way for us to bring people together was through technology,” said David Mikkelsen.

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ABBA MUSSIE NOMINATED FOR UNHCR AWARD

ABBA MUSSIE NOMINATED FOR UNHCR AWARD

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ABBA MUSSIE ZERAI NOMINATED FOR UNHCR AWARD

ABBA MUSSIE ZERAI NOMINATED FOR UNHCR PRIZE

UNHCR-Italy submitted Abba Mussie’s name for the most ambitious recognitin by the New York based Organization. When Father was informed, he sent the following reply to the Organizaton:

Dear All,
I would like to thank UNHCR- Italy for nominating me for the Nansen Prize. The  motivation is an encouragement to my ministry in favour of refugees in the Horn of Africa. Grateful for the confidence and moral support that the  UNHCR – Italy operators are showing me, to all of them I express my thanks.   In case that my name is selected among  the winners of this award, it is my intention to start a foundation to provide scholarships to Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia, which will enable them to complete their university or technical studies that will open to them a brighter future.

Abba Mussie is an Eritrean R.C. Priest that started and still runs the HABESHIA Agency for Cooperation and Development. It supports schools and other projects in refugees camps in Ethiopia and Sudan to help the beneficiaries ptomote their educatinal and human background while waiting for their paper process. Likewise, he also does pastoral ministry among the Eritrean Communities in Switzerland. But his main activity is advocacy for the plight of Eritrean, Ethiopian, Sudanese and Somaly refugies in North Africa and the Middle East. Among the achievements of Abba Mussie is the tragic moment when he received a call in the middle of the night from a dingy boat in danger of sinking in the Mediterranean. Fatther immediately allerted the Italian Navy of the situation and gave them the coordinates of the position of the boat. The Italian Navy launched immediately a SOS message to the ships in the area. Unfortunately, no ship responded to the appeal, but quite a few passed by without offering any help. Only 9 people survived the tragedy driven by the waves to the Lybian shores, from where they had departed few days earlier. One of the nine, in fact, died of exhaustion, almost immediately on the beach before they could get help by the Lybian Navy. The others were taken directly to the prisons, and some to the hospital. Abba Mussie was able to reach them in prison and there collect their testimony incriminating a Nato helcopter ship and a ship that hovered over them, took pictures, threw a few bottled bottle of water and loaves of bread, and abandoned them to their fate.  When reported in the Italian papers, NATO denied its complicity in the death of the 64 people in the boat for abandoning the wreckage to its fate. They firmly and repeatedly stated that none of their ships was in the vicinity of the boat at the time. Two years later a Swiss TV station did a painstaking research, by tracing the survivors, collecting testimonies from Abba Mussie, the Italian Navy, demanding information from Nato about the routes of its ships and their schedules. And finally confronted the NATO high brass about its response to the SOS appeal. Confronted with the documentation provided by the journalist, the spokeperson finally admitted that indeed a NATO ship was 22 miles away from the dingy boat but they did not act on the appeal.  I hope that the chapter does not close with the simple acknowledgement, but that justice can is allowed to run its full course. The blood of those African victims demands justice and dignity as much as any other life.
      But Abba Mussie advocacy mission responds also to calls from the hidden dunes of the Sinai desert by desperate captives of the reckless bedouins. He echo the cry for help from refugees in Lybia, Tunisia, Djibouti, yemen, Syria.  He bridges and connects them with the highest ranks of the UNHCR officials in Egypt, Italy, New york, he pleads for them with Ambassadors of Egypt at the Vatican, with Italian Ministers, the Vatican Curia, the Council of Churches in  Geneva, the Europear Court, the European Union, GOs, NGOs,. Any place, any time, anyone who can be of any kind of help, and he can reach, he will try.
How effective is his mission? Well, if nothng else he has alerted the whole world, starting from the UNHCR of the human traficking and organ cropping for profit in the Sudan refugee camps, the Sinai Peninsula, etc. He has tracked down the responsibility beyond the material bedouin executioner to Government officials or the mafia web in various countries. Which is not a small achievement. But, once more, like most of the uncomfortable witnesses, like John the Baptist, his is a voice in the desert, that the wind takes away before it even reaches to the ears of those who could do something more efficients to solve the problem. A voice however who want relent until justice to the homeless refugee is done, peace is achieved, and his ministry will be redundant.