First Published: 2012-11-13

 

In new Libya: Undocumented foreign nationals face abuse

 

Amnesty warns undocumented foreign nationals in Libya are at risk of exploitation, arbitrary detention, beatings that sometimes amount to torture.

 

Middle East Online

Gathafi-era abuses not only continue but worsen

TRIPOLI - Undocumented foreign nationals in Libya are at risk of exploitation, arbitrary detention and beatings that sometimes amount to torture, advocacy group Amnesty International said in a report released Tuesday.

Libya is heavily reliant on migrant labour and it is both a destination and transit point for refugees and asylum seekers from sub-Saharan Africa, lured by better economic opportunities in Libya or the chance of passage to Europe.

Migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees risk being arrested by Libyan militias on the streets, markets, checkpoints and their homes. Some are intercepted while trying to board boats to Europe, Amnesty said.

"It is shameful that Gathafi-era abuses against foreigners, especially those from sub-Saharan Africa, have not only continued but worsened," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Amnesty.

During the 42-year reign of slain dictator Moamer Gathafi foreign nationals faced similar abuses but their plight has only deteriorated in the wake of the 2011 conflict that toppled him, the watchdog said.

"Their situation has worsened amid the general climate of lawlessness, with powerful armed militias continuing to act outside the law," Amnesty said in the report, which was based on visits to nine detention centres across the country.

It urged the new Libyan authorities to rein in militias and tackle racism and xenophobia, which it said was inflamed by the widespread belief in Libya that "African mercenaries" helped the ousted regime try to crush the 2011 uprising.

"The Libyan authorities must acknowledge the extent of the abuse by militias and put in place measures to protect all foreign nationals from violence and abuse, regardless of their origin or immigration status," Sahraoui said.

"Individuals entitled to international protection are caught-up in Libya’s mixed-migration flows," said Amnesty pointing to those fleeing conflict and poverty in countries like Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan.

Between May and September 2012, the organisation visited nine detention centres, holding 2,700 foreign nationals, including pregnant women, women with young children and unaccompanied minors, over migration offences.

Amnesty said the detainees reported being tortured and beaten with instruments like wires and rubber hoses. Many showed scars and bruises to corroborate their testimonies.

Women are also subject to punishment for "disruptive behaviour" and are vulnerable to sexual violence in centres overseen by male guards.

 

Iran-backed bomb attack foiled in Jordan

Iran nuclear talks enter in final straight

Deadly US raids target ISIS stronghold in Syria

After Tunisia beach massacre, tourists switch to other destinations

Near Gaza Strip, Israelis live in fear behind concrete walls

Tunisia declares state of emergency after beach massacre

Concern and grief as Britain remembers 2005 terror bombings

Iran nuclear talks: Will Ministers score diplomatic success?

Erdogan moots possibility of snap election

Coalitions of Syria rebels battle regime forces in Aleppo

Lawlessness in Libya poses real danger for Tunisia

Hezbollah backs Syria army in major assault on border city

Syria mosque explosion kills at least 25 Nusra fighters

Egypt President in Sinai after jihadist attacks on security forces

Yemen Huthi rebels ‘attack’ various areas in Saudi Arabia

No guarantee of success as Iran nuclear talks inch closer to lasting deal

Egypt ‘in state of war’ on second anniversary of Islamist ouster

Ansar al-Sharia denies killing of Abu Iyadh in US air strike

Rockets from Sinai strike Israel

Palestinians arrest 100 Hamas members in West Bank

Erdogan inaugurates public mosque in palace

Islamists form alliance in battle for Aleppo

Top Tunisian jihadist reportedly killed by US strike in Libya

Emir attends joint Shiite, Sunni prayers in Kuwait

Hamas denies involvement in Sinai attacks

4 Qaeda suspects killed in US drone attack in Yemen

'Series of errors' behind Air Algerie crash in Mali

Ankara has no plans for imminent intervention in Syria

21 killed in clashes, strikes in Yemen's Aden

GCC states vow united stand against IS mosque bombings

Palestinians protest one year after teenager burned alive

Egypt vows to wipe out 'dens of terror'

Tunisia arrests eight in connection with beach massacre

Youth in Tunisia 'ripe for radicalisation'

UN sends mission to 'assess' South Sudan atrocities

Syria urges citizens to enlist

AQAP step up campaign to eradicate qat

Iraq Christians train for jihad against IS

British FM: 'No breakthrough yet' in Iran nuclear talks

UN imposes first sanctions on six South Sudan generals

Libya rival governments will not return to peace talks

Fighting rages in Yemen’s Aden

Egypt government adopts anti-terror law

Kurds warn Turkey against any ‘aggression’ in Syria

Kuwait makes DNA tests mandatory after suicide bombing