African migrants take protest to Jerusalem

Jan. 8, 2014 at 8:50 AM

JERUSALEM, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- African migrants traveled Wednesday to Jerusalem to protest for the fourth day against Israel's policy to detain and expel refugees, officials said.

Thousands of asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan took their protest to Jerusalem, gathering outside the parliament building, Ynetnews.com reported.

It was the first time the four-day protest moved outside of Tel Aviv, except for a smaller demonstration in Eilat.

Eight of the asylum seekers had arranged to meet with Knesset members Michal Rozin and Dov Khenin, but they were denied entry to the parliament building after a request by Knesset member Miri Regev, Ynetnews.com said.

"Infiltrators sought to gather in Jerusalem to benefit their ongoing campaign to bring down the State of Israel, and this is an insult to the Knesset," Regev wrote in her request to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein. "This is another attempt to damage Israel's image, and turn it into a violator of human rights in the eyes of the world."

"I see no reason to stop eight people from meeting with members of the Knesset," Rozin said. "For what reason? What are they scared of, hearing an opinion? We could go out to the Rose Garden with them without permission from the speaker, but why not let them sit on chairs like human beings?"

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