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.

 

Vote or boycott: Grim record of self-serving politicians puts off voters in Tunisia

For Sudan President: Promises are something and re-election is something else

Egypt universities tighten security to avoid new Islamist violence

Rise of Shiite militias challenges government authority in Iraq

How to overcome Qatar heat? FIFA boss prefers winter World Cup in 2022

Protests over IS turn Istanbul University into war zone

Turkey eyes stricter punishment against lawbreakers at protests

Iran returns Abadi to ‘house of obedience’

From traditional military to counterinsurgency force: Syria army grows more capable

South Sudan rivals accept 'responsibility' for civil war

British drones in Iraq also used for Syria surveillance

Turkey launches new wave of wire-tapping arrests

Syria Kurds show impressive resistance to ‘Islamic State’ in Kobane

Iran forces inside Iraq as Abadi rules out foreign ground intervention!

South Sudan rivals meet in new bid to end civil war

From Morocco into Spain: Crowd of African migrants charges to border fence

Deadly suicide attack targets Shiite mosque in central Baghdad

Turkey gives Iraq Peshmerga forces passage to Kobane

Israel to supply Egypt with natural gas despite sabotage

Kerry seeks help of Southeast Asia in anti-Islamic State push

Qaeda inflicts heavy losses on Huthi rebels in central Yemen

US carries out first weapon airdrops to Kurd fighters near Kobane

Benghazi violence kills 75 people in five days

Morocco accuses Algeria of firing on civilians across border

Australia finalises deal for deployment of Special Forces to Iraq

Tunisia calls on Libya authorities to locate missing journalists

Turkey rejects calls to arm ‘terrorist’ Kurdish party in Syria

Western powers threaten sanctions against hostile actors in Libya

New deadly terrorist attack targets Egypt army in Sinai

‘Islamic State’ suffers heavy losses in Syria battleground of Kobane

After full formation of Iraq government, time comes to visit Iran

UN appeals for four-day truce in Western Libya

Gaza tunnel collapses before demolition: At least 3 Egypt soldiers dead

Erdogan begins one-day visit to Afghanistan

After weeks of delay, Iraq gets new security ministers

Diplomats scold Turkey over ambiguous relation with Islamic State

Lebanon pleads for Iran military aid to fight Islamic State

Kurds repulse new jihadist attempt to cut off Syria town

Huthi rebels meet fierce resistance in Yemen Sunni areas

Former Iraqi pilots train IS to fly Syria fighter jets

Two Millstones Drowning America into Premature Oblivion

Iraqi forces launch anti-IS operation north of Tikrit

Ben Ali cohorts planning comeback in Tunisia polls

Battle for Libya's Benghazi heats up

Kurdish fighters still holding out in Syria's Kobane