Foreign Ministry: Deportation of S. Sudanese legal (JERUSALEM POST) By BEN HARTMAN 05/17/12)
JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-Top
The Foreign Ministry believes it is legal to return South Sudanese
migrants in Israel to their homeland, according to an internal
ministry document leaked to Haaretz this week.
An official at the ministry told The Jerusalem Post that the document
had been put together recently, but added that it only related to
whether or not the migrants could be returned according to
international law, not whether or not they should be returned.
The official added that the document was “absolutely not a
recommendation that they should or should not be returned.”
Nonetheless, according to Haaretz, the document will be part of the
ministry’s recommendation on whether Israel can end group protection
for South Sudanese in Israel.
“The Foreign Ministry thinks there is no obligation in international
law to grant asylum for socioeconomic reasons, but rather if the
financial and social situation in the country is so bad that it
causes the asylum-seekers to be risking their lives or can be
classified as cruel, inhuman or degrading,” Haaretz quoted the
document as reading.
According to the report, the document also calls on the government to
examine each asylum-seeker’s personal claim to see if they qualify
for refugee status.
The South Sudanese community of around 1,000 (2,000 according to
Interior Ministry figures) was to face forced deportation on April 1,
in keeping with a government decision that the Population,
Immigration and Border Authority (PIBA) announced on January 31. PIBA
had said that following the establishment of South Sudan as an
independent country last July, these migrants would no longer be
considered refugees come April 1 and should prepare for departure.
Three days before the deportations were to begin, the Jerusalem
District Court issued an injunction barring the deportations until
April 15. The decision came after the Foreign Ministry contacted
PIBA, asking that it consider delaying the deportations to give the
ministry time to examine the situation on the ground in South Sudan.
Orit Marom of ASSAF, the Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum
Seekers in Israel, said Tuesday that her organization and others were
calling on the Interior Ministry to wait and interview each South
Sudanese person individually, rather than sending them back without
fully examining their requests for asylum.
She added that a ministry-organized flight of South Sudanese was
heading back on Sunday, consisting of families who she said were not
allowed to work in Israel and were returning willfully “because they
haven’t been able to pay rent and are the desperate of the desperate.”
“We are calling on the government to wait and see what develops in
South Sudan, which at [any moment] could be in the middle of a total
war,” she said. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 05/17/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY