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.

 

An extraordinary meeting: Gulf ministers agree to end tension with Qatar

US releases $450 million Iranian frozen assets

‘Retaliation is life’ group vows to attack Egypt security forces

Gunmen storm South Sudan UN base killing 20

Malaysia activists: Obama you are not welcome here!

Kidnappers of Tunisian diplomat demand jailed Libyans release

Landmine blasts Tunisia soldier amid growing jihadist threat

Marzouki sets an 'example' by cutting salary by two-thirds

Rouhani: Iran does not intend to be aggressive but can defend itself

Turkey to Russia: We demand a gas price revision

For Massacre-scarred Algeria village, peace is worth more than wealth

An act of heroism: Iraq policeman sacrifices himself to shield army recruits

UK ‘determined to catch’ killer of Libya embassy policewoman

Experts: Washington demanded removal of Saudi spy chief

Future of Algeria on wheelchair

Palestinians rally for solidarity with Israel-held prisoners

Turkey may clinch bid to dismantle Italy’s wrecked ship

Israeli, Palestinian negotiators to hold meeting with US envoy

UN ‘gravely concerned’ about South Sudan oil state fighting

South Sudan war: Child soldiers consumed by desire for retribution

Algerians casting their vote for president

Syria world’s most perilous country fro journalists

Egypt jails ex-presidential hopeful for fraud

Egypt leftist leader urges all revolutionary groups to unite

Jordan ‘destroyed’ combat vehicles entering from Syria

South Sudan army loses key oil town of Bentiu

Lebanon parliament soon to elect new president

Zarif to discuss Caspion Sea states in Russia

MERS spreading in Saudi Arabia

Algeria finally opens its piggybank to lure back exiled youth

Suicide bombs rock Ramadi government compound

Three Palestinians killed in Gaza blast

Peace talks delayed after Palestine blamed for fatal shooting

Palestinians clash with Israeli police in Al-Aqsa

Undercover New York police unit that spied on Muslims disbanded

Washington will not issue visa for Iran UN envoy

British paedophile gets 20-year sentence in Morocco

Syria army fights its way into besieged Homs

Invisible Bouteflika urges Algerians to vote

Saudi Arabia replaces powerful intelligence chief

Benflis mobilizes ‘army’ to monitor Algeria election

Syria army advances on rebel-held neighbourhoods in Homs

Egypt court bans any Brotherhood candidacies in upcoming elections

Turkey rights groups sound alarm at plan to build gay-only prisons

Kuwait coup plot video ‘neither genuine nor reliable’