Since the end of 2009, the authorities in Israel have been receiving reports about (mostly) Eritrean and Ethiopian citizens who were held under horrendous conditions for ransom by smugglers in the Sinai desert in Egypt (in places known as "the Sinai Torture Camps").
Many of the victims arrived in Israel after their release from such camps, often in a devastating state, both physically and mentally (including open wounds, burns, disease, malnutrition, and severe psychological trauma). According to estimations, at least 1,500 victims of torture have reached Israel since December 2009. Some NGOs believe that the numbers are higher. Since 2012, when the security fence on the border of Egypt was completed, the number of victims entering into Israel dramatically decreased, and today hardly any reach enter Israel.
From various testimonies, it appears that the tortures in the Sinai include: beating, rape and sexual abuse, ruthless forms of humiliation, extracting fingernails and amputating fingers, burning by hot metal and dripping hot plastic, shooting and stabbing different parts of the body, electric shocks, starvation, forced observation of others being tortured or killed, forced observation of organ removal from bodies or live victims, and more.
Analysis of the information gathered thus far provides that between 2009-2013, the level of torture has increasingly become more severe, as have the amounts of ransom demanded, the time held captive, and the number of who are people kidnapped and brought to Sinai despite never intending to reach Israel.
Some of those who reached Israel were recognized as victims of slavery, and have received government aid. These victims were released from detention centers and transferred to shelters for victims of human trafficking.