Two Eritrean men suspected of raping a woman in Tel Aviv were incarcerated after being turned over to the Immigration Authority. The two had been released from custody earlier this week after the complainant reportedly refused to cooperate with investigators.
Migrants suspected of criminal charges lose their visa eligibility and can therefore be deported. In cases where deportation is not an option, as is the case with citizens of Eritrea, the Immigration Authority may place the migrants in custody.
Last week, police announced it had arrested two suspects in connection with a rape case in Tel Aviv's Hamasger Street. The suspects claimed there was no rape and that they paid to have consensual sex with the complainant.
Earlier this week, they were released from custody as police failed to make headway in the investigation. Police nevertheless challenged the ruling and the Tel Aviv District Court granted the motion and remanded the two in custody.
Investigators still could not get the woman to cooperate and were forced to release the two men on Wednesday. It was then decided to turn them over to the Immigration Authority to have their status in Israel reviewed.
Attorney Nir Alfassa of the Public Defender's office said the two should not have been arrested in the first place.
The Immigration Authority said in response, "According to recently approved protocol, police may turn over foreigners who are suspected of criminal charges to the authority for the purpose of issuing a deportation order. In cases where they cannot be expelled, they can be placed in custody. We shall follow procedure."
Boaz Fyler contributed to this report