(JTA) — Human Rights Watch issued a report criticizing Israel for its treatment of African migrants.
The report published Tuesday by the international human rights group said that Israel has forced nearly 7,000 Eritrean and Sudanese refugees to return to their home countries, putting them at serious risk, The Associated Press reported.
It said that some Sudanese have been tortured, detained and charged with treason upon their return from Israel.
In an email to the AP, a spokeswoman for Israel’s Interior Ministry said the government was acting in a legal and appropriate manner and that migrants have been leaving Israel of their own volition.
Human Rights Watch said Israel’s policy of forcing migrants into spartan detention centers is abusive.
The report calls on Israel to end the indefinite detention of the asylum seekers; to facilitate the lodging of asylum claims and to review them fairly; and to grant Eritrean and Sudanese asylum applicants temporary status with work authorization for renewable periods of no less than 12 months until it is safe to return home.
Since 2006, approximately 50,000 Eritreans and Sudanese have illegally migrated to Israel through the Sinai.