Testimony #997. Female, 30 years old, from Eritrea, wasin Sinai for 120 days,paid $ 25000 to the smugglers for her release, arrived to Israel in January 2012.
We finished paying 3000. Then we were taken to another place. They put us in the underground house and we were told to pay 30000.We were beaten, my fingers are still swollen. We were chained. I have scars around my ankles of the chains and difficulty walking. We were given only one bread a day.There were four woman. Three paid immediately and they were released; only I stayed behind. No one harassed me sexually.We never saw a sun when I was in the underground for four months.There were twelve stairs down. There were two rooms, in one there were 40 people in the other 28.Four people died when I was there. One was diabetic; he could not survive the hunger. The other three died because of the beatings.They demand us after we paid 25000 and asked me to pay again 11000 more. But I did not pay.They told me that if I did not pay they will kill my nephew. They kept me for another month. I left my nephew behind because I could not pay. He is still there, I suffer for him. The boys were tortured with electric shock.They were harassing me sexually by touching my breasts.
Testimony #843. Male, age 36, from Eritrea,arrived to Israel inDecember 2011, paid $ 25,000 to the smugglers for his release,was held in Sinai for90 days
I was kidnapped in theUN Campin Sudan. I never wanted to come to Israel. When I was kidnapped there were two men with guns who came. They brought me straight to Sinai. The journey took four days. When we reached Sinai they asked me for 33.000 Dollars. For 20 days they chained me and the others in my group, blindfolded us and started to beat us in order to make us pay the money. There were 32 people in my group and only one could pay 33.000 Dollars immediately. The traffickers then added more than 100 other refugees. Five people were killed in the three months that I was there. The people died because of the electronic shocks they were receiving. I was beaten and chained and you can still see the scars on my body. The person who was chained with me died but the smugglers left the body chained with me for two days. They beat me on the soles of my feet and they burned my hands with fire. When I was chained, wounds burst on my legs. I also suffered from extreme hunger and thirst. I got one piece of bread every 24 hours and 1 1/2 liter of water for 32 people.Everybody of my family contributed to my release in order to get the 33.000 Dollars the traffickers asked for. They said that I either have to die or have to pay, so my cousin sold his house to get the money for me. First, they kept us in a shelter and then they put us in a house. I haven't seen the sun for 90 days because the smugglers were afraid that people could see us. I know people who already paid 10.000 Dollar but still they aren't released. I feel so sorry for them because I know what they are going through.
Testimony #1062. Male, 22 years old, from Eritrea, was in Sinai for 240 days, paid $ 25000 to the smugglers for his release, arrived to Israel in February 2012:
I was working in Sudan in Girbah for one and a half months. I was working there in order to have money. Then someone came to give us a job in Kassala and I got kidnapped. Three people were kidnapped. One person came to propose for a job, when we came to the place there were four other kidnappers. We were brought to a house where we waited until we were eighteen people. There were also people who were not kidnapped. Then we were transferred to the Sinai. The eighteen that were kidnapped were all Eritreans, there were four women amongst us. We were chained and blindfolded and we were beaten and mistreated. I have scars on my back, I was burned with plastic on my back. There were no Eritrean people who tortured us. We were kept underground. The whole day we were obliged to stand, the smugglers did not allow us to sit. We suffered hunger, but the worst is thirst because they did not give us water at all. We could not even speak. We were drinking our own urine. Sometimes we fainted. Even those who died, they were still asking money for them. We were informing the people that they should not send money for their brothers because they already died. I witnessed the death of six people. The six people that died, some of them were beaten until they died. The other two were beaten, they suffered for two days and they died. We suffered from diarrhea, the smell of it brought big problems. Even when someone felt very sick we all who were chained together (4) had to go to the toilet to do the diarrhea. They beat you so bad in a very bad place, even if you fall on a dead body they beat you more and more they do not care. There were old people and young people. I heard children, but I never saw them. For eight months I was not allowed to shower. How could I take shower, we did not even have enough to dip our fingers. We were not blindfolded for eight months in a row, as soon as they moved we opened the blindfold. We were at least 29 persons in the underground house. Sometimes there were more, depending on those who paid and those who did not. We were changed from place to place. We did not stay in one house. There is no one that stayed with me for eight months, there were people who remained behind, but they are not the one who entered the Sinai with me. The name of the trafficker is Abu Mussa. Frequently they changed the name. We were very weak, we were chained at any time. I cannot sleep, I live in frustration, everything comes back to my mind, my body is weak, I am in pain. I feel for those who are left behind in the Sinai and also my parents who did a lot and I cannot pay them back. In Israel I cannot work and I am dependent on others. My family sold whatever they had and relatives abroad collected money, I had to wait for that money.
Testimony # 933. Female, age 21, from Eritrea, arrived to Israel in January 2012, was held in Sinai for 153 days, paid $ 40.000 to the smugglers for her release:
I was sold to a trafficker called Abu Abdalla, after I already paid 15.000 Dollar to another trafficker. I was beaten, chained and blindfolded and the traffickers didn't allow us to sit, to lie down or to sleep. We had to stand all the time. I was hanged from the ceiling to threaten to kill me and you can still see the scar on my neck. Also, I received electrical shocks; a scar remained on the other side of my neck. The traffickers obliged us to smoke Hashish. They did this only to the girls. When I took the drug I fainted and I didn't realize what happened around me. Everything became black. Once, they forced us to take the drugs three days in a row, afterwards it was only every now and then. I was scared that I was sexually abused while I was unconscious but I did tests when I arrived in Israel and it seems ok. In my group there were nine girls with me. All of us were beaten. While my group was crossing to Israel, there was shooting at the border and two girls of the group were caught by the Egyptians. I don't know what happened to one of them, she disappeared. The other one went back to Eritrea. Three girls of the group are still with the traffickers. I heard that they were sold again. Only two other girls of my group managed to enter Israel.
While I was in Sinai six people died because of the beatings. All of them were boys. At the beginning there were 50 refugees in my group. We received a piece of bread every 24 hours. We were asked to be naked in front of everybody. Something like this happened a lot, most of the time we had to take of our clothes.