Amnesty International has received information indicating that in many instances women trafficked from East Europe countries are literally bought and sold for large sums of money, often in auctions where they are purchased by the highest bidder. Some are held in debt bondage where they are forced to work to pay off large sums of money.
''I don't know the outcome of the trial. I only know that Arthur the pimp is at liberty. I talked to him on the phone. When the police arrested us they did not allow us to take our things with us, so they are still there. Arthur knows my address in St Petersburg and my telephone number because he kept my pbuttport. I have a small daughter, eight years old there. He threatened that he would find me in Russia, at home, if I did not do what he wanted me to.''
I got six books from our local library (Narre Warren) re UFOs. I thought they...
Anna, a 31-year-old physics teacher from St Petersburg in the Russian Federation arrived in Israel on a tourist visa in October 1998. She had been lured to Israel by the promise of a job earning US$1,000 a month, 20 times her salary in the Russian Federation. The Israeli national who had offered her the job made it clear that she would be involved in the love industry, but promised her good working conditions. She was completely unprepared for the treatment that awaited her.
Anna was met at the airport and taken to an apartment. Her pbuttport was taken from her and she was locked in the apartment with six other women from FSU countries. She was auctioned twice. On the second occasion she was bought for US$10,000 and taken to work in Haifa, where she was held together with two other women. The apartment in which she was held had bars on the windows. The women were rarely allowed to leave the apartment and never allowed out alone. Much of the money that they earned was taken from them in ''fines'', money extorted from them by their pimps.
In March 1999 Anna was arrested for involvement in prosbreastution after a police raid on the apartment where she was being held. In court the police alleged that Anna had signed statements admitting to involvement in prosbreastution -- but all the documents were in Hebrew, a language Anna neither reads nor writes. She later discovered that she had been accused of running a brothel.
Anna was held at the Kishon detention centre for almost a month awaiting deportation. During that time she was not allowed to talk to the Russian Consul. The reason for her detention was apparently that the authorities wanted her to testify against the pimp. But the authorities never told Anna this or asked for her consent to act as a witness.
Tatiana arrived in Israel from Belarus in April 1998 on a tourist visa. She had been promised a job working 12 hours a day as a cleaner in a hotel in the resort of Eilat. She was told the job would pay her enough
Tatiana was met in Eilat by a man pretending to be from the hotel where she was to be employed. He took her to a brothel, where she was forced to work in the love industry against her will and told that she would have to repay her ''sale price'' and the travel costs.
Tatiana made various plans to escape. She was finally released from the brothel after a police raid -- a friend of hers had contacted the Belarus Consulate who contacted the police. Tatiana was taken into custody as an illegal immigrant and detained in Neve Tirza Prison awaiting deportation.
Three days after her arrest, Tatiana found an anonymous note on her prison bunk threatening to kill her and punish her family if she spoke out about what had happened to her. Tatiana wanted to testify against her captors in Eilat, but she was terrified that if she did so and was returned to Belarus the traffickers would meet her at the airport or come to her home, since they knew all her pbuttport details and the address of her family.
A pebreastion was made to the Chief of Police explaining that if Tatiana had no protection it would be unreasonably dangerous for her to testify in court. He replied that the Israel Police could not guarantee anyone's safety outside Israel and offered only ''minimal protection'' for Tatiana. She testified in June 1999 and was deported later that same month. Despite her request that she be flown to Poland or Lithuania and then allowed to cross into Belarus by car, the Israeli authorities deported her directly to Belarus. She was reportedly met by a male relative and taken to an unknown location. Tatiana's fate after that is unknown.
"I had a nervous break-down. I wanted to escape from this place and asked a client to help me. He turned out to be one of them and I was beaten up by the owners. There was nowhere to run -- there were bars on the windows and bodyguards all the time, day and night."
Valentina, a 27-year-old psychologist and a social worker, arrived in Israel in August 1998 from Moldova. She believed she was going to work as a company representative. Her travel and visa were arranged by the Israeli national who had offered her the job.
Valentina was met at the airport and taken to a hotel. The following day her money, pbuttport and return ticket were taken from her and she was taken to an apartment where she was held for two months.
''The conditions were terrible. One girl was kept to work in the basement for eight months. It was damp there and she got tuberculosis as a result. Most of the girls had different diseases -- venereal and others related to their reproductive organs. I do not wish even to my enemies to go through what we went through."
Valentina eventually succeeded in escaping with another woman by jumping from the first floor of an apartment building. The women returned to the brothel in order to help another friend to escape and were caught up in a police raid on the apartment. Valentina was arrested in March 1999 for not having proper documents or a visa. Although she was pleased that the police had raided the brothel, she was afraid to testify against the man who sold her to the brothel owners because he knew the whereabouts of her family in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Consul visited her only once following her arrest. Valentina did not know how long the Israeli authorities intended to hold her or when she would be allowed to go home.
''I want to go home but it is possible the trial of X, the man accused of raping her may not happen for six months. I also want to make sure that X ... goes to prison.'' "Deportation orders are not intended for keeping witnesses in detention. Foreigners without permits are only detained so that they leave Israel and do it quickly." Batya Karmon, head of the Department of Aliens and Visas at the Ministry of the Interior (4)
"She is a criminal. She resided in Israel without a permit. It was obvious that she would not testify if she was not detained.'' Moshe Nissan, Haifa Police Spokesperson
Nina, a 19-year-old from Minsk in Belarus, arrived in Israel in late 1998 on a tourist visa. She knew that she would be working in the love industry, but had been promised good working conditions. After about three months working in a brothel in Haifa, she was abducted at gunpoint, ''sold'' for US$1,000, beaten and raped. She escaped and returned to the first brothel in an attempt to earn enough money to pay for her flight back to Belarus.
Nina was arrested by the police in a raid on a mbuttage parlour in Tel Aviv in March 1999. She was imprisoned in Neve Tirza Prison on the basis of a deportation order issued by the Ministry of the Interior. However, even though she had a valid pbuttport and a ticket, she was not deported because the Haifa District Attorney's Office issued an order prohibiting her from leaving Israel to ensure that she testified in a criminal case being brought against the three men who had abducted and raped her. She was finally deported in June 1999 after having been held in Neve Tirza for more than two months.
Nina's plight was brought to the attention of various Israeli officials by the Hotline for Foreign Workers in Detention and reached the pages of the Israeli daily Yediot Aharanot in May 1999. Various government officials interviewed by the newspaper denied responsibility for her detention. A prosecutor from the Office of the State Attorney in Haifa commented: ''I didn't know that the girl was detained until the Hotline contacted me. I will make every effort to have her finish her testimony in one day so she can be released.''