We are delighted to announce that Christian Aid partner PHR-Israel’s work in exposing and leading a campaign on the trafficking, kidnapping, and torture of refugees in the Sinai Desert prior to their entry into Israel has been recognised internationally.
The US-State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Heroes Award was given to PHR-Israel’s dedicated volunteer Sister Aziza Kidane, who has worked tirelessly over the last two years to gather the testimonies of over 1300 refugees and asylum seekers that fled conflicts and persecution for ‘safer pastures’ in Israel.
Revealing the truth
The interviews, which took place in PHR-Israel’s Open Clinic in Jaffa revealed that a shocking 59% of patients have been exposed to torture and/or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment by smugglers in the Sinai Desert. 81% of clinic patients report being chained or held captive in Sinai, while 39% report being exposed to torture or the death of another person on their way to Israel.
178 had also been shot at while crossing the Egypt-Israel border.
Making an impact
The work of Sister Aziza and fellow volunteers at PHR-Israel has been vital in raising medical support for the victims of these crimes, and also in providing the research needed for a wide-scale advocacy, media, and publicity campaign directed at swaying decision-makers around the world to take a stand towards bringing an end to the torture camps in the Sinai Desert.
'No human being should ever have to hear the shocking testimonies I gather daily at Physicians for Human Rights-Israel's Open Clinic' said Sister Aziza.
'Even at this very moment, asylum seekers are being forcibly detained, tortured, and killed in Sinai and the world is not doing enough to save them from these horrors.
I hope recognition from this award will give voice to the victims and bring about international action and cooperation.'
'Even at this very moment, asylum seekers are being forcibly detained, tortured, and killed'
Christian Aid has worked with PHR-Israel for many years, supporting their work in both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory . Their mobile clinics, staffed by volunteer doctors and nurses, have bought health services to thousands of Palestinians whose access to healthcare is severely limited due to Israel’s occupation.
They have also lobbied and campaigned for equal access to healthcare for all those inside Israel, and are truly living out their oath of 'I will keep them from harm and injustice'.
Christian Aid congratulates Sister Aziza and PHR-Israel on this award and the recognition of the essential work that they do for all those in need.