26 November 2016

Second South African delegate to be deported from Israel

A second South African citizen will be deported from Israel after being denied access to Israel whilst en-route to the First Palestinian -International Youth Camp.

Laeeqa Sujee, 21, left for the camp on Friday, 25 November 2016, and arrived at the Ben Gurion International Airport at 4am on Saturday morning. She was accompanied by two other South African delegates. Sujee, who wears the Hijab or Islamic headscarf, was called aside for questioning. The interrogation continued for a period of five hours. Shortly after 9am on Saturday morning her family was notified, via email from the security services, that she will be deported back to South Africa.

Sujee could not be reached for comment, however, Altaaf Adam, who was also deported from Israel two days ago said; “Laeeqa might be kept at the deportation centre in a holding cell, without access to personal belongings until just moments before the scheduled flight departure time.” He added that there are no reasons for the arbitrary deportation.

Both participants (among others) were invited by The Palestinian Higher Council for Youth and Sport to attend the camp, but were denied entry. No reason for the denial and subsequent deportation has been provided by the Israeli authorities.
Adam said that during his encounter with Israeli authorities, he witnessed their “discriminatory treatment” and sees the need for stronger solidarity with the Palestinian people.

“I experienced it for a relatively short time, and I can only imagine what it must be like for Palestinians in Israeli jails and what they encounter daily at checkpoints. Being denied a simple basic freedom of movement was traumatic and only emphasises the immense suffering of the Palestinian people who are denied access to their own land and basic freedoms every single day,” said Adam.

Adam, who landed in South Africa yesterday, November 25, appeals to the department of International Relations and Corporation (DIRCO); who is cooperating with efforts to secure the urgent release and repatriation of Sujee. Ziyad Patel, attorney for the victims added that this arbitrary detention and deportation bears a reflection of the Israeli apartheid regimes misplaced suspicion and paranoia whilst it continues daily to violate the fundamental human rights of others especially Palestinians.

The PSAYL hereby calls on the South African government to urgently intervene in securing the immediate release and return of Laeeqa Sujee and to ensure the future safety and fair treatment of all its citizens.

 

Aarti Bhana
084 529 3809
Media Relations
Palestine Solidarity Alliance Youth League (PSAYL)

Alternative contact:
Kwara Kekana (082 754 7921) BDS South Africa

 

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