PHOTOS: 24 hours outside Holot ‘open’ detention center

African asylum seekers converge on the Holot ‘open’ detention center to demand the release of those held there, and call for a comprehensive solution for their community.

Photos and text by: Yotam Ronen, Oren Ziv and Tali Mayer/Activestills.org

African asylum seekers walk into the Holot detention center in Israel’s southern Negev desert, on February 17, 2014.
African asylum seekers walk into the Holot detention center in Israel’s southern Negev desert, on February 17, 2014.

African asylum seekers from different cities in Israel held a two-day protest outside Holot detention center in the Negev, on February 17-18, 2014. Around 500 African immigrants gathered outside the center to call on Israeli authorities for the release of all people imprisoned under the Prevention of Infiltration Law, and find a comprehensive solution for the asylum seeker community.

The detainees of Holot joined the demonstration from inside the detention center. The protest is just the latest action in the mass struggle of asylum seekers in Israel that began in December 2013 with the “March for Freedom.”

New arrivals to Holot detention center, February 17, 2014.
New arrivals to Holot detention center, February 17, 2014.
African asylum seekers gaze at Israeli military helicopters during a protest outside the Holot detention center, in Israel’s southern Negev desert, February 17, 2014.
African asylum seekers gaze at Israeli military helicopters during a protest outside the Holot detention center, in Israel’s southern Negev desert, February 17, 2014.
The protesters were calling for the closing of the prison and for the recognition of the refugee rights of African asylum seekers living in Israel.
The protesters were calling for the closing of the prison and for the recognition of the refugee rights of African asylum seekers living in Israel.
African asylum seekers take part in a protest outside the Holot detention center, in Israel’s southern Negev desert, February 17, 2014.
African asylum seekers take part in a protest outside the Holot detention center, in Israel’s southern Negev desert, February 17, 2014.
African asylum seekers in Holot detention center join the protest from behind the prison’s fence, as other asylum seekers protest outside the facility in Israel’s southern Negev desert, February 17, 2014.
African asylum seekers in Holot detention center join the protest from behind the prison’s fence, as other asylum seekers protest outside the facility in Israel’s southern Negev desert, February 17, 2014.
African asylum seekers inside Holot detention center protest behind the prison’s fence as others protest outside.
African asylum seekers inside Holot detention center protest behind the prison’s fence as others protest outside.
As darkness falls, African asylum seekers occupy the ground outside Holot detention center.
As darkness falls, African asylum seekers occupy the ground outside Holot detention center.
African asylum seekers gather around a fire after taking part in a protest outside the Holot detention center.
African asylum seekers gather around a fire after taking part in a protest outside the Holot detention center.
African asylum seekers wake up in the early morning for a second day of protest outside the Holot detention center.
African asylum seekers wake up in the early morning for a second day of protest outside the Holot detention center.
African asylum seekers gather around a fire in the early morning of a second day of protest outside the Holot detention center.
African asylum seekers gather around a fire in the early morning of a second day of protest outside the Holot detention center.
African asylum seekers gather around the fire in the early morning of a second day of protest outside the Holot detention center where hundreds of Aylum seekers are jailed, February 18, 2014 in the southern Negev desert of Israel.
African asylum seekers gather around the fire in the early morning of a second day of protest outside the Holot detention center where hundreds of Aylum seekers are jailed, February 18, 2014 in the southern Negev desert of Israel.
African asylum seekers sleep in the early morning of a second day of protest outside the Holot detention center where hundreds of asylum seekers are jailed.
African asylum seekers sleep in the early morning of a second day of protest outside the Holot detention center where hundreds of asylum seekers are jailed.
African asylum seekers wake up in the early morning of a second day of protest outside the Holot detention center.
African asylum seekers wake up in the early morning of a second day of protest outside the Holot detention center.
African asylum seekers wake up in the early morning of a second day of protest outside the Holot detention center.
African asylum seekers wake up in the early morning of a second day of protest outside the Holot detention center.