JERUSALEM, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Israeli authorities are detaining and then forcing migrants from Sudan and Eritrea to leave the country, a report issued by Human Rights groups charged on Wednesday.
The report was published by the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch together with the Israeli Hotline for Migrant workers.
According to the report, the Israeli authorities, namely the Population and Immigration Border Authority (PIBA) detains and then threatens the African nationals, including illegal migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees, to leave Israel.
"Since Dec. 11, 2012, Israel's pressure convinced several hundred detained Sudanese and one Eritrean to leave Israel, and in February 2013 some 50 detained Eritreans agreed under similar pressure to leave for Uganda. All 50 remain in Israeli detention," the report stated.
The report further charges that the migrants face "real risk of harm" in case they are to return to their home state.
"Under Sudanese law, anyone who visited Israel faces 10 years in prison," the groups warn. "Because of the credible persecution fears relating to the punishment of evading mandatory military service in Eritrea, 80 percent Eritrean asylum seekers worldwide are granted protection," they added.
"Israel's prolonged detention of asylum seekers aims to shatter all hope so they feel they have no real choice but to leave the country," Gerry Simpson, a senior refugee researcher at Human Rights Watch, wrote in the report.
"Israel should release asylum seekers while their claims are examined and protect anyone found to risk serious harm if returned, " he added.
There are more than 2,000 African nationals held at two detention centers located in southern Israel, near its border with Egypt. There are overall about 50,000 Eritrean and Sudanese living in Israeli cities, mainly concentrated in the south as well as in southern neighborhoods in Tel Aviv where tensions with local poor population mount amid high crime rates.
The Israeli Interior Minister embarked on a plan to repatriate the migrants and so far several thousands have been deported, while others were banned from working.