Israel’s AG Orders Release of Two Sudanese Asylum Seekers Jailed Without Evidence of Crime

Weinstein criticizes immigration officials for continuing to detain one of the men after his acquittal; second man ordered to be released is Sudanese singer Babkar 'Babi' Omar Ibrahim.

Ilan Lior
Ilan Lior
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Ilan Lior
Ilan Lior

The attorney general on Wednesday ordered the release of two Sudanese asylum seekers who were jailed as criminal suspects under a legal provision permitting the indefinite detention of unauthorized migrants who are criminal suspects even when the evidence against them is insufficient for prosecution.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein recently approved the provision. However, the protocol stipulates that the prolonged detention must be based on evidence, even if insufficient for an indictment, that is nevertheless clear, unequivocal and convincing.

Weinstein’s aides criticized the Population and Immigration Authority’s conduct. They noted in particular the agency’s grievous behavior in continuing to detain one of the men after his acquittal.

Amlosom Telaimont was acquitted by the Be’er Sheva District Court on Sunday of charges of raping and assaulting a woman who lived with him.

Despite the acquittal, Telaimont was not released. Instead, he was transferred to the Saharonim prison. He was released only after Yoav Sapir, head of the Public Defender’s Office, asked Deputy Attorney General Raz Nizri to order his immediate release.

The second man, Babkar “Babi” Omar Ibrahim, is a Sudanese actor who was arrested last Thursday on suspicion of stealing a bicycle. The arrest and Ibrahim’s continued detention led to public protests culminating in a demonstration outside Weinstein’s home Saturday night.

On Wednesday Weinstein examined the police evidence and ordered Ibrahim’s release.

Ibrahim, 30, came to Israel six years ago to escape persecution in Sudan. He is one of the leads in a play depicting the lives of Sudanese migrants in Israel, produced by the Levinsky Park Library.

African migrants being held in Israel's Saharonim detention facility. Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz

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