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Aug-15-2012 17:52printcomments

ISRAEL: Appeal in Favor of the Victims of Human Traffickers in the Sinai

The Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land launched a renewed appeal in favor of the victims of human traffickers in the Sinai.

Ron Prosor, Israel's Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Ron Prosor is Israel's Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Photo: article.wn.com

(SALEM) - Refugees fleeing strife and death in the Sinai are increasingly falling victim to human traffickers.

Officials in both Israel and Egypt have a big job on their hands if they intend to help uphold international humanitarian law regarding human trafficking.

Unfortunately, both governments are showing a stubborn unwillingness to offer aid to African Asylum seekers who are suffering a terrible fate.

Authorities in Egypt and Israel need to act decisively against the traffickers. One of the first steps will be the closure of their bases of activities. These criminals located on both sides of the border should be brought to justice by governments willing to assist victims and provide refuge for them as well as protecting these populations from the traffickers.

As our Human Rights Ambassador, William Nicholas Gomes states in his letter to Ron Prosor Israel's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, these two governments are responsible for the protection of dignity and physical and psychological integrity, and the right to due process and fair trial of asylum seekers and migrants.

Mr. Ron Prosor
Israel's Permanent Representative to the United Nations

800 Second Avenue,
New York, NY 10017

Re: ISRAEL: Appeal in favor of the victims of human traffickers in the Sinai

Dear Mr. Ron Prosor,

I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com.

I have been informed by Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land that they have launched a renewed appeal in favor of the victims of human traffickers in the Sinai.

Along with the following individuals,

  1. Fouad TWAL,Patriarch of Jerusalem for Latins, President Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries,
  2. Michel SABBAH,Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem emeritus,President Ep.Comm. Justice and Peace,
  3. Antonio FRANCO, Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine, Apostolic Nuncio for Israel and Cyprus
  4. Giorgio LINGUA,Apostolic Nuncio for Jordan,
  5. Elias CHACOUR,Melkite Catholic Archbishop of Akka
  6. Yaser Al-AYYASH,Melkite Cath. Archb. Petra& Philadelphia
  7. Boutros MOUALLEM, Melkite Cath. Archbishop of Akka emeritus
  8. Gregoire Pierre MELKI, Syrian Catholic Exarch of Jerusalem
  9. Joseph Jules ZEREY, Melkite Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem
  10. Maroun LAHHAM,Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan
  11. Giacinto-Boulos MARCUZZO, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Israel
  12. William SHOMALI, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem, Palestine
  13. Kamal-Hanna BATHISH,Latin Auxiliary Bishop emeritus
  14. Selim SAYEGH,Latin Auxiliary Bishop emeritus,
  15. Msgr Joseph KELEKIAN, Armenian Catholic Exarch of Jerusalem,
  16. Fr. Pierbattista PIZZABALLA, O.F.M, Custos of the Holy Land
  17. Fr. David NEUHAUS, S.J., Patriarchal Vicar for Hebrew speaking Catholics,
  18. Fr. Evencio HERRERA DIAZ, O.F.M.,Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Cyprus,
  19. Msgr George SHIHAN,Maronite Patriarchal Administrator,
  20. Fr. Raymond MOUSSALLI, Patriarchal Vicar in Jordan for Chaldeans,
  21. P. Pietro FELET, scj, Secretary general, I raise my voice on the issue.

I along with the Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land express my deep concern about the horrific situation of African asylum seekers who are being held hostage in the Sinai and calls for an immediate end to human trafficking.

On December 5, 2010, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI already drew the attention of the international community to "the victims of traffickers and criminals, such as the drama of the hostages, Eritreans and of other nationalities, in the Sinai desert". Since that time the situation of these victims has only worsened.

Along with the heads of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land, I urge the civil authorities in Egypt and in Israel as well as the international community to intensify their efforts to fight the ongoing trafficking in human beings in Sinai, their abuse, humiliation, torture, rape and murder. Those fleeing their countries of origin because of war and violence must be protected from criminal abuse at the hands of those who seek to take advantage of them. I am particularly horrified to learn of the appalling fate of the women and children.

I remind the civil authorities in Egypt and in Israel of their obligations to respect international human rights law provisions and standards regarding the treatment, the protection of dignity and physical and psychological integrity, and the right to due process and fair trial of asylum seekers and migrants.

I congratulate those activists in Egyptian and Israeli human rights organizations who provide help to the victims of human traffickers and assure them of our moral support and prayers.

In communion with the organizations seeking to draw attention to the plight of these people and to help them, I call for these:

-I call for greater awareness regarding the plight of those being imprisoned, held for ransom, tortured and abused in Sinai;

- I call on the civil authorities in Egypt and Israel to act decisively against the traffickers, closing their bases of activities, prosecuting the criminal elements involved in these crimes on both sides of the Egyptian-Israeli border, assisting their victims and providing refuge for them as well as protecting these populations from the traffickers;

-I call for support of those organizations and individuals engaged in advocacy, assistance to and counseling of the victims.

I want to remind you that the Catholic Ordinaries commit themselves to the spiritual care of the Catholics among the asylum seekers and ask the Israeli authorities to permit chaplains and their assistants access to those asylum seekers imprisoned in confinement facilities in Israel in order to offer them the spiritual solace they might seek from the Church.

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.

(Matthew 25:35-36)

William Nicholas Gomes
Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com

Donate to Support William's Human Rights Stories; donate through PayPal

Donate to: williamgomes.org@gmail.com


Salem-News.com Human Rights Ambassador William Nicholas Gomes is a Bangladeshi journalist, human rights activist and author was born on 25 December, 1985 in Dhaka. As an investigative journalist he wrote widely for leading European and Asian media outlets.

He is also active in advocating for free and independent media and journalists’ rights, and is part of the free media movement, Global Independent Media Center – an activist media network for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate telling of the truth. He worked for Italian news agency Asianews.it from year 2009 to 2011, on that time he was accredited as a free lance journalist by the press information department of Bangladesh. During this time he has reported a notable numbers of reports for the news agency which were translated into Chinese and Italian and quoted by notable number of new outlets all over the world.He, ideologically, identifies himself deeply attached with anarchism. His political views are often characterized as “leftist” or “left-wing,” and he has described himself as an individualist anarchist.

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