Court delays deportation of South Sudanese (JERUSALEM POST) By BEN HARTMAN 03/30/12)
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Only three days before South Sudanese in Israel were to face
potential deportations, the Jerusalem District Court issued an
injunction Thursday delaying any deportations until April 15.
The decision was in response to a petition issued earlier in the day
by a series of NGOs including the Association for Civil Rights in
Israel, the Hotline for Migrant Workers, the African Refugee
Development Center, the Assaf Aid Organization for Refugees and
Asylum Seekers in Israel and Physicians for Human Rights.
The petitioners argued that returning South Sudanese to their home
country at this point in time would gravely endanger their lives,
considering the dire living conditions and sporadic fighting plaguing
Also Thursday, the Foreign Ministry sent a letter to the Population,
Immigration and Borders Authority (PIBA), asking for them to consider
delaying the deportations, so that the ministry can have more time to
examine the situation on the ground in South Sudan.
As of Sunday, April 1, the community of around 1,000 South Sudanese
in Israel was to face deportations in keeping with a government
decision announced by PIBA on January 31. PIBA stated that following
the establishment of South Sudan as an independent country last July,
they will no longer be considered refugees come April 1 and should
prepare their departure.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Thursday that the letter
sent to PIBA asked for them to wait while the ministry discusses the
matter with an envoy sent by the Foreign Ministry to Juba. The envoy
was scheduled to return on Thursday and will brief the ministry on
the situation on the ground in Juba.
Palmor said the ministry asked for more time so that they can examine
the envoy’s recommendations about returning South Sudanese to their
country, as well as opinions from sources in the international
community on the matter. Palmor said the recommendations could
encourage them to request that the government extend group protection
for South Sudanese.
Palmor added that the ministry did not ask for any specific time
frame, contrary to reports Thursday in the Israeli press.
Sabine Haddad from PIBA confirmed that the organization had received
the letter on Thursday but added that the decision about extending
group protection for South Sudanese lies with the Prime Minister’s
Office. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 03/30/12)
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