Summary: Israel recognises its first Sudanese refugee

23rd June 2016, Israel: Sudanese national Mutasim Ali has finally been awarded refugee status, seven years after entering Israel, four years after submitting his asylum application, after six legal appeals, and being detained for 14 months in Holot detention facility.

Mutasim is a survivor of the genocide in Darfur, and is the first Sudanese person to gain refugee status in Israel. He is coming to the end of his first year in law school. He said, “I will continue to contribute to Israeli society and the refugee community in Israel. I intend to use the status granted to me to improve the situation in Darfur, until I can safely return to my homeland. I call on the Israeli government and the international community to act to halt the bloodshed in Darfur and in other regions in Sudan.”

SRT grantee Hotline for Refugees and Migrants has been assisting for the past four years with Mutasim’s struggle to receive refugee status, which has now been granted in accordance with the 1951 Refugee Convention. This decision puts an end to the uncertainty and fear of deportation or detention for Mutasim. Mutasim’s lawyer and Director of the Hotline’s Legal Department, Asaf Weitzen, said “It is so moving that after all the hardship, after such a prolonged period of uncertainty and detention and after endless legal proceedings, Mustasim was finally granted the legal status he deserves. I hope this is a sign of things to come.”

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