ICC Note: Finding a place to go in the midst of persecution is not easy in the Middle East .
Israel Imprisons Hundreds of Sudanese Refugees Who Claim Persecution
By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI
6/4/2006 MAASIYAHU PRISON, Israel (AP) – Standing behind bars and begging to tell of families murdered and homes destroyed, the Sudanese in Maasiyahu Prison are confronting their Israeli jailers with a quandary that taps deep into the trauma of the Holocaust.
The Sudanese, some 220 men and women, say they fled massacres and religious persecution in the war-torn Darfur region and in southern Sudan . But they are not eligible for asylum here because Israel considers their country, an Arab League member, to be an “enemy state.”
The prisoners languish in the cells of Maasiyahu, a low-security prison in the central Israeli city of Ramle , where The Associated Press was taken on a visit by the Prisons Authority. Most have been picked up in recent months, while a few have been here about a year.