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.
Sesuna* was travelling to Israel for work when she was kidnapped by a smuggler in Sinai and raped.
I am a citizen of Eritrea. I came to Israel to work. I know that my stay in Israel is illegal and that I entered it illegally. I am not willing to return to Eritrea now. I would like to add that on my way to Israel, in Sinai, one smuggler named Abdul Aziz raped me for two days. He came and took me to his room at night and held a knife against my throat and threatened that if I don’t agree to have sex with him, he will kill me. So I was scared and I agreed. During the night he raped me twice. The smuggler did not use any kind of contraception so I’m afraid I might have gotten some disease. I would like to see a gynecologist. This smuggler came back the second night too, and took me to his room, and there he raped me twice. After two nights it ended.
Narrative as featured in the report ‘Tortured in Sinai, Jailed in Israel: Detention of Slavery and Torture Survivors under the Anti-Infiltration Law’ made possible by The PME Foundation