African immigrants protest Israeli asylum policy

Jan. 5, 2014 at 2:25 PM

TEL AVIV, Israel, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Immigration activists in Israel called for a three-day strike Sunday as part of a protest over the government's treatment of African refugees.

The call came at a major demonstration in Tel Aviv, which drew a crowd estimated in the tens of thousands, the Jerusalem Post said.

The newspaper said the demonstrators were protesting the opening of a major new immigration detention center and a new laws governing the detention of asylum seekers.

"We ask that the Israeli society stop the brutal legislation, make the government review our asylum requests and stop sending hundreds of us to jail," one protester told Ynetnews.com

The protesters chastised the government for its alleged refusal to recognize asylum requests and said they were forced to leave their native lands by violence.

"We are refugees and all we want is work to support ourselves," one protester from Eritrea told Ynetnews. "We can't go back to our country -- it's a threat to our lives and the lives of our families."

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