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Child rescued from Israeli welfare after they hold her in a container

Marianne Azizi photo
Marianne AziziIsrael
Child rescued from Israeli welfare after they hold her in a container
After being held in a container for seven months, Ethiopian/Eritrean child is finally released home to her parents.

Benjamin is Ethiopian.  His wife is Eritrean.  They have 6 children.  After years of asylum seeking in Israel, (although non Jewish) they were rejected and informed they would have to leave Israel and return to their own countries.  

Whilst in the process of appealing the decision, the Welfare/CPS intervened and took four of their children from them.  Due to over crowdedemergency centres, one girl (8) was held in a windowless container.  The container was full of dirt and dust, and she was locked in during the night.  The guards were unaware she was terrified of the dark, and she cried repeatedly.  To quieten her, they beat her.

The overnight conditions caused harm to her skin, as the container was so dirty and filled with urine, she scratched and scratched, with no first aid.

As a frightened child, taken directly from school, under a claim they were abused, she was left in appalling conditions.  The remaining children were spread across different centres, and separated.  The girl's captivity caused her severe anxiety - anger, fear and terror.  She was allowed visits by her father, and he took photographs of her. 

The father's asylum request was rejected, on the grounds he was not at risk in Ethiopia. Despite marriage problems, the crime has to be the treatment of this little girl.  The couple were spread thin - one child in the north, another in the west, whilst they also had to visit the two smaller children once they knew where they were all located, which had taken months.  There was no information on their whereabouts for all this time. 

They took a legal aid lawyer who could speak their language, having no idea of the Hebrew language, nor the law.  He did his best, but with no experience of juvenile law, or how to rescue children.  Subsequently, Benjamin turned to CFI (Children & Families International) to seek help.

Mickey Givati, Juvenile Attorney,  and co founder of CFI  stepped in and took the case to help the children. After a long hearing, the judge ordered the immediate release of the youngest from the container.  

The family slipped up with no native language; knowledge of law; unaware that they should have requested to immigrate, not go for asylum. They made mistakes, but suffered for a long year with their children  all separated and horrendous abuse of the youngest daughter. 

The pictures below show her condition, and then after being released, her joy and journey to recovery.

The girl, having been beaten to stop her crying and making noises as she battered on the door to get out.   Her skin on her back disintegrating from the irritations of lying on a filthy mattress. 

reunited with her brother, and blooming again

The picture above shows how she recovered when back with her family after being released. 

The best interest of the child is used as a term by complete strangers to a family, dressed up in welfare speak.  The right of the child was that she should never have been held in a container for over 7 months.  Fortunately, a good judge, combined with a good juvenile process - secured the freedom of the child. 

All pictures published with permission of the parents. 

For more information or to give your own story, contact [email protected]

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