Saharonim Prison 370.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Over 300 African asylumseekers held a protest at the Saharonim detention center
in the Negev over the weekend, demanding they be released from custody and
allowed to move freely in the country, the Prisons Service said on
The protesters included some 340 migrants from the 7 block of the
detention center, the service said, who refused to return to their cells on
Friday and remained in yard of the block. The protesters told the wardens that
they are being held illegally and must be released. Efforts to speak to the
On Sunday morning, Prisons Service officers moved in
and removed the protesters from the yard. The service said that the protesters
used passive resistance and therefore the officers did not use violent force or
crowd dispersal means such as flash bangs or tear gas.
were demonstrating against the amendment to the Prevention of Infiltration Law
(1954) that went into effect last summer and allows the state to jail for three
years or longer people who enter the country illegally.
Two human rights
NGOs in Tel Aviv contacted by The Jerusalem Post on Sunday said they only heard
about the protest on Sunday morning.
In a protest at Saharonim against
the Infiltrators Law last October, 400 to 500 African migrants sent back their
meals for two days. The strike was started by a group of Eritrean women, who
reportedly were under the impression they would be returned to Egypt.