There are an estimated 518,000 people living in modern slavery in Egypt, 465,000 in Sudan and an estimated 451,000 in Eritrea (GSI 2018). Since 2006 tens of thousands of Eritreans fleeing widespread human rights abuses and destitution have ended up in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Until 2010, they passed through Sinai voluntarily and generally without any problems and crossed in to Israel. However, since then, Sudanese traffickers have kidnapped Eritreans in eastern Sudan and sold them to Egyptian traffickers in Sinai who have subjected at least hundreds to violence in order to extort large sums of money from their relatives.
Fnan* paid money to be smuggled in to Israel through the Egyptian border, however on her way was physically abused and raped, kept captive in Sinai for six months until she paid a ransom.
I am not represented. I repeat what I said in the hearing. I am 23 and single. I entered Israel through the Egyptian border. I paid money to be smuggled. I am healthy. I understand that I entered Israel illegally and that my stay here is illegal. I came to Israel to live here and to work. I am not interested in returning to Eritrea. I would like to state that I underwent abuse on my way to Israel by the smugglers. I had to pay $35,000 for my release. During my stay in Sinai, they beat me severely. In addition, the smugglers put out their genitals and put them in my mouth. It’s hard for me to say this, but they also raped me. I was in Sinai for six months. I would like to see a social worker and a doctor.
Narrative as featured in the report ‘Tortured in Sinai, Jailed in Israel: Detention of Slavery and Torture Survivors under the Anti-Infiltration Law’ made possible by The PME Foundation