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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.

Adonay*, a 26-year-old Eritrean man recalls how Sudanese traffickers took him and other trafficking victims to Egypt in February 2012, where they crossed the Nile and then held them for three days in a house nearby.

After three days, six beige-colored military vehicles arrived. The men who got out had lighter skin and looked like Egyptians. They were wearing normal civilian clothes, except for two who were wearing jalabiyas. All of them had weapons and military belts with military equipment on them. The men put our group of around 30 people into four of the six military vehicles.

We drove with them for one night and one day. The two other military vehicles followed us all the way. Then the men transferred us into a big civilian truck. None of the men from the military pickup trucks got into the back of the big truck with us.

*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