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.

 

France looks to boost ties with Gulf countries

Hundreds of residents protest against Qaeda control of Yemen city

Iraq Sunnis stay away from Tikrit for fear of revenge-seeking militias

Police foil attack against Prophet Muhammad exhibition in Texas

War against spiky hairstyles: Iran threatens to punish barbers

Saudi Arabia considers ‘temporary’ halt in coalition air strikes

Taliban soften position after Qatar talks

Israel seeks to ease tensions with angry Ethiopian community

UN gears up to host separate talks with Syria rival sides

Qatar signs deal for 24 French Rafale fighter jets

Lebanon security forces arrest IS-linked cleric

Recent disasters fail to slow tide of desperate migrants

Rumour of Al-Duri killing breathes life into shadow of Iraq dictator

Closure of last overland route chokes off Lebanon exports

Syria army tightens crippling siege on rebel bastion

Terror threats against Jews: Israel warns and Tunisia denies

Arab coalition deploys ‘limited’ force on ground in Aden

Syria army launches offensive on rebel attacks in regime bastion

Istanbul under security lockdown on May Day

ICC will consider Palestinian war crimes too

Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker 'warns' America against Muslim immigration

Ban warns fuel shortages threaten Yemen relief operations

Iran trying to buy nuclear technology

Iraqi Kurd leader to meet Obama next week

Yemen rebels launch first major attack on Saudi

Sudan maintains balancing act with Saudi Arabia, Iran

Syria, Iran vow to step up fight against ‘terrorism’

Iran warships reach entrance of key Yemen strait

Iraq offers amnesty to personnel who fled ‘Islamic State’

UN envoy urges Israel to lift Gaza Strip blockade

France set to sell Qatar 24 Rafale jets

Mali peace deal tatters

Saudi-led coalition pounds rebels in south Yemen

Iran opposition leader: Tehran ‘godfather’ of IS

Saudi king concentrates power in his inner circle

Sadr threatens to attack US interests over budget provision

France increases defence budget in response to extremist threats

Hamas silences pro-unity protest in Gaza Strip

Turkey acquits all leaders of 2013 protests against Erdogan

Iraq seeks to counter IS propaganda victory in Anbar

After four decades, Prince Saud al-Faisal steps down as Saudi Foreign Minister

Sisi vows elections for 2015

Iraqi peshmerga leave Syria’s Kobane

Iran-Saudi war of words heats up

Bahrainis jailed, stripped of nationality, for 'terrorist acts'