WATCH: Asylum Seekers in Israel Tell Their Story

Film depicts Africans sent to the Holot detention facility in April, months before the High Court ordered the Knesset to close the detention center, which remains open.


A documentary video released this month depicts the plight of African asylum seekers in Israel, who were sent to the Holot detention camp in April.

The Israeli High Court of Justice in September ordered the state to close the detention camp within 90 days.

The Knesset, however, passed an amendment to the so-called Prevention of Infiltration Law just before the deadline expired in mid-December in order to keep it open. The High Court then issued an injunction preventing the state from incarcerating new detainees until a petition can be heard.

According to The Guardian, the short movie was produced by a group called Walks of Life Film.

"In the making of this short film in April this year we heard fresh accounts of many former Holot detainees having decided to return to East Africa out of despair only to be arrested by state authorities upon their arrival," write directors Matthew Kay and Jasper Kain on the Guardian's website. "They are then either imprisoned for treason or disloyalty for initially fleeing the country, or simply disappear without trace."

According to the directors, all the detainees, many of them business owners and fluent Hebrew speakers, have lived in Israel for at least five years.

They describe visiting "more than 800 men marched out of Holot and through the desert in the searing heat towards the Egyptian border." The asylum seekers demanded recognition as refugees. “We have made a commitment to keep on struggling for our basic rights and we will never give up, justice and equality will last forever,” announced the refugees in a statement.

A scene from the documentary.Credit: YouTube screen grab

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