Sudanese refugees move Knesset members

Tuesday, December 26, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
Refugees from Sudan, a country considered to be a hotbed of Islamic terrorism, visited the Knesset Monday at the request of the committee for foreign laborers. The two refugees, Ahmad and Yassin, spoke about their horrible life story as they saw their family members murdered before their eyes, were themselves tortured by government agents, and were subjects of humiliation and abuse until they managed to cross the border from Egypt to Israel.

One of the refugees, who came to the committee in order to ask them to help him get political asylum, brought the Knesset members to tears. He addressed MK Sarah Marom-Shalev (Pensioner’s party) who was born in Romania and survived the Holocaust and asked her: “Please, as a survivor of the Jewish Holocaust, please help the victims of the Sudanese holocaust. There was nobody who could have helped the Jews of WWII, but today the Jewish state is a strong democratic country and has the power to help survivors of a similar genocide.”

The genocide in the Darfur region in Sudan, which broke out in 2003, is considered the most severe humanitarian crisis happening in the world today. Arab militias which are operating on behalf of the government in the western part of the country have already massacred about 400,000 African blacks and have turned more than 2,000,000 civilians into refugees.

About 250 of those refugees managed to arrive in Israel and asked for political asylum, but instead of receiving protection, they were thrown in jail for long months because they are nationals of an enemy state. The committee for the refugees of Darfur has so far managed to release about 50 of the refugees to kibbutzim and moshavim, and there is an ongoing public struggle to release those who remained in custody.

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