excerpt of an open letter to mubarak
April 21, 2010 § Leave a comment
April 20, 2010.
I wish to submit this open letter to Your Excellency with the hope and belief that you would give the important issue of international human rights an urgent and positive consideration. Specifically, my appeal to you is concerned with Egypt’s shoot-to-kill policy applied on poor Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees crossing over from Egypt to Israel.
Here is what was reported by Reuters only last February, 2010:
“Egypt Police Kill Migrant At Israel Border
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Reuters) – Egyptian police shot and killed an Ethiopian migrant Tuesday, injured two others and arrested 10 as they tried to cross the Egyptian-Israeli border, medical and security sources said.”
Here is another similar report by AFP on March 27, 2010:
‘ “Egypt police kill two Eritrean migrants at Israel border
AFP – Egyptian police shot dead two Eritreans on Saturday as the would-be migrants tried to cross the border illegally into Israel, a security official told AFP. Four people were also wounded during the shooting, including one who was in a critical condition, and another person was arrested. “
The above murders are only examples of the inhumanity perpetrated by your government at the Israeli/Egyptian border. It should be noted that according to reliable sources, the refugees were shot in the back as they were fleeing from the Egyptian soldiers. What does this indicate about the humanity, let alone the bravery, of the soldiers?
It is time, Mr. President, that you put an immediate and a complete stop to your soldiers’ travesty, an international crime by any standards.
There are a number of tragic and, at the same time, ironic aspects to the situation occurring at the Egyptian side of the border with Israel. An amazing one is the fact that Egyptians who are members of the African Union are killing other Africans from entering, of all places, Israel! The Israeli government, on the other hand, applies civilized and humane standards that avoid mistreating, let alone killing refugees. The other irony is that Egypt thrives on the water (86%) cascading from Ethiopia free of charge. The soil that produces food in Egypt came from Ethiopia. But Egypt murders Ethiopian refugees at the Israeli border with impunity. A further irony is the fact that Egypt claims to be in compliance with international human rights declarations but its soldiers commit murders in open day light! In addition, the Egyptian government mercilessly loads refugees on airplanes and drops them back to Eritrea, for example, and only the Almighty knows what may have happened to the unfortunate human beings.
when we were in israeli prison this was the story. the africans, more than a dozen, were grateful to be in israeli prison. because that meant they had made it over the egyptian desert border where they would have been shot on sight.
the strange thing about this letter is this: The Israeli government, on the other hand, applies civilized and humane standards that avoid mistreating, let alone killing refugees.
not true. simply. not. true. the israeli government treatment of non-jewish, and esp. non-jewish african refugees is deplorable. ppl are tortured in prison. those detention centers are neither civilized nor humane.
not to mention the treatment of the israeli government to palestinian refugees, in which there is a shoot on sight policy in place clearly. the entire founding of the israeli state is based on creating a refugee population, palestinians, and then making them disappear.
furthermore it seems clear to me that egypt does israel’s dirty work. egypt is the #2 recipient of us aid. israel is # 1. and egypt does some of israel’s border protection by (for example) building a wall on the gaza/egypt border. egypt shoots to kill on its side of the border so that israel doesnt have to. understand, the refugees are shot by egy soldiers while trying to leave egypt and enter israel, not when the refugees are trying to enter egypt. b/c israel doesnt want the african refugees to reach their land.
israel even treats ethiopian *jewish* refugees as third class citizens w/in israel.
and i dont think that locking refugees up for an indefinite amount of time, stealing their passports, threatening them with physical violence, placing them in isolation, torturing pregnant women, beating a man w/ no provocation, and more that i witnessed in my three days in israeli detention should qualify as ‘humane’.
but as spring turns to summer we are probably going to see more refugees shot while trying to leave egypt. in the desert. looking for a home.