Focus on Eritrean Refugees in Sinai and Israel at Advocacy Event in Los Angeles

Tales of Horror for Africans Trying To Reach Israel

getty images,

By Anne Cohen

Published February 17, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Eritrean Youth Solidarity for Change (EYSC) and RightNow: Advocacy for Asylum Seekers in Israel hosted a joint event in Los Angeles, advocating for the Jewish and Eritrean-American communities to work together to help Eritrean refugees stuck in the Sinai desert.

The event launched the groups’ global campaign to end “human trafficking, torture, organ theft, and rape in the Sinai desert,” according to a statement put out by EYSC.

The campaign’s online petition calls on the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations to put pressure on the Egyptian and Sudanese governments to end the human trafficking of Eritrean refugees in the Sinai desert.

“Many Eritreans seek refuge in Israel, but many never arrive as they die at the hands of the brutal traffickers along the way,” the United Action for Sinai petition reads. “Many victims fall prey to traffickers in the refugee camps in Sudan as well. This is a regional issue that must be dealt with through international cooperation.”

The petition currently has over 5,500 signatures.

In a video presented during the February 10 event, Ford Roosevelt, grandson of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, reminded the attendees to be courageous. “We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot,” he said, quoting his grandmother Eleanor.

Emotions ran high for those attending. RightNow’s Maya Paley “passionately explained the plight of refugees in Israel and the horrors of rape victims,” according to the EYSC statement. After collecting over 5,500 signatures in support of the “United Action for Sinai” petition, a coordinated lobbying campaign will now begin to compel government leaders to take immediate action in Egypt’s Sinai.

EYSC’s Yonas Hagos’ presentation included a video testimony of a young man whose hands were left severely deformed after weeks of torture, EYSC’s statement added.

According to Paley, the next step will be a coordinated lobbying campaign. The event concluded with several human rights activist, anti-human trafficking groups and other non-profit agencies agreeing to pull their resources together and work with RightNow and EYSC to coordinate their actions into a taskforce focusing on the issue.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.