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2014 (Narrative date)

There are an estimated 518,000 people living in modern slavery in Egypt, 465,000 in Sudan and an estimated 451,000 in Eritrea (GSI 2018). Since 2006 tens of thousands of Eritreans fleeing widespread human rights abuses and destitution have ended up in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Until 2010, they passed through Sinai voluntarily and generally without any problems and crossed in to Israel. However, since then, Sudanese traffickers have kidnapped Eritreans in eastern Sudan and sold them to Egyptian traffickers in Sinai who have subjected at least hundreds to violence in order to extort large sums of money from their relatives.

Selassie* escaped from his kidnappers at the end of December 2011 but recalls how a second group of “Rashaida” kidnapped and then tortured him and other Eritrean kidnap victims.

They tied our hands and legs and blindfolded us. Then said they would kill us with knives or guns if we didn’t pay $10,000 and asked us whether we had relatives abroad who could pay. They beat us a lot with metal rods. They poured petrol over us and made us drink water with petrol in it. When we vomited they forced us to drink the vomit. They burned us with cigarettes and we had to stand most of the time

*name given 

Narrative provided by Human Rights Watch in their report “I Wanted to Lie Down and Die”: Trafficking and Torture of Eritreans in Sudan and Egypt