Photo: Refugees in Libya
Thousands of refugees stranded in Libya are demonstrating in front of the UNHCR headquarter in Tripoli. The protest started at the beginning of October 2021, following mass raids and arrests of refugees in Tripoli’s neighbourhoods and homes. The protesters are survivors of human rights violations, torture, arbitrary detentions, persecutions, and extortions that regularly take place in Libya. Many are also the survivors of violent pushbacks to Libya.
The global public as well as EU member states and institutions are all well aware of these atrocities. Faced with this situation, which has been ongoing for too many years, refugees in Tripoli have decided to self-organise and make their voices heard: they demand the end to this violence and the immediate evacuation to a safe place. They defy fear and the risk of violent repression, and they make their struggle for freedom heard around the world.
The refugee protesters in Tripoli state:
“We are calling on the authorities and the whole world to recognize us as humans, respect and protect our rights. And the Libyan authorities should respect and apply the international law of seeking asylum applicable in Africa. We are victims of civil wars, we are victims fleeing religious and political persecutions, amongst us are those seeking decent life, education and freedom to live humanly. But the Italian authorities and the EU member states have been only aggravating our sorrowful souls, by paying the Libyan authorities and its militia groups publicly and in the backdoors to kill us while in the desert, on the sea and in horrible concentration camps. All these have been a violation to human rights and a crime against humanity. Libya today is a cemetery to thousands of innocent refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants fleeing unbearable situations in their countries of origin. And the idea or the political will was and is fully accepted and funded by the Italian authorities and EU member states. We call on the Italian authorities and EU member states pouring funds to Libya to make sure that their actions and political wills do not harm us and violate our rights. And to make sure that the forcible deportation to the Libyan inhumane detention centers then to countries of origin is stopped. We also call on them to cooperate with the Libyan authorities to close all detention centers in Libya and set free our brothers and sisters who are currently detained in inhumane conditions, being extorted, raped, tortured and killed.”
We stand in solidarity with the protestors! Most urgently, together with them, we demand the immediate evacuation of the refugees stranded in Libya to countries of safety, in Europe. Many municipalities and cities throughout Europe have declared their willingness to welcome newcomers and offer them prospects to live dignified lives. EU institutions and member states, cooperating with international organisations, have the responsibility to end these atrocities now, and they have enough resources and capacities to ensure immediate evacuations.
NOW is the time for the international community to act. Recognize the refugees living and struggling in Libya as humans. Respect their rights and listen to their demands.
Alarm Phone and Mediterranea Saving Humans
Please support this solidarity statement and sign it by emailing us here: solidarityreflibya(att)gmail.com