Below is an email from the Israeli campaign group, Hotline for Refugees and Migrants
The group anticipates that the Israeli government will appeal against the ruling, but will face a tough battle to have it reversed.
Israel Appeals Tribunal Rules: Desertion from the Eritrean Military is a Valid Claim for Asylum
Following an appeal by the Clinic for Refugee Rights in Tel Aviv University, the Appeals Tribunal has ruled today that the appellant, an Eritrean national who had fled the Eritrean Military, has proven that: “There is a well-founded fear of persecution from the authorities of his home country due to a political opinion attributed to him as a result of his fleeing military service.”
This ruling sets a precedent for the asylum requests of thousands of Eritrean nationals who are rejected because of the Population and Immigration Authority’s opinion that claimed desertion from Eritrean military service is an invalid claim for asylum.
Attorney Anat Ben-Dor from the Clinic for Refugee Rights at Tel Aviv University said in response: “We are glad that the tribunal, after long legal discussions in which all the necessary evidence were shown, has ruled justly.
We are regretful that through all these years this case was left hanging in the air, thousands of similar asylum requests Eritrean military deserters were rejected.
We now expect the Population and Immigration Authority to reconsider those requests of all those rejected on the basis of the prior opinion, which has now been disqualified by a tribunal which ruled that it was not up to the international standard required by the UN Convention on Refugees.”
The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants will demand that the Ministry of Interior will stop detaining and deporting Eritreans whose asylum claims were rejected.