Alert Update: Libya: Some Detained Eritrean Refugees Have Been Freed

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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Alert Update: Libya: Some Detained Eritrean Refugees Have Been Freed

1. Background

IHRC has received reports that 39 of the Eritrean refugees previously held at a detention centre in Misratah have been removed by the UNHCR and taken to a hotel and are now in the process of being resettled in Italy. Another 15 Eritrean refugees are being arranged to be resettled in Canada.

However there are hundreds of refugees still detained in deplorable conditions in various detention centres in Libya. Many of them are Eritreans who fled their country to escape military service but were detained by the Libyan authorities upon arrival. According to IHRC reports the refugees held at Misratah detention centre have been beaten and raped, and are suffering from skin diseases as well as TB. They are held in overcrowded and unhygienic conditions and are not being given proper food or drink.

We thank all IHRC campaigners for their valuable support and letters in favour of the refugees detained in Libya. We request all campaigners to continue writing letters and pressurizing relevant authorities to take action regarding the remaining detainees.

For reference, you can read our previous alerts and briefing about this case:

https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=2836

https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=2837

https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=2835

2. Action Required

a) Write to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your country requesting them to appeal for the welfare of the refugees in Libya.

UK campaigners can write to:

Rt. Hon. David Miliband MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Fax: +44 0207 839 2417
Email: private.office@fco.gov.uk

b) Write to the Libyan Ambassador in your country urging him/her to treat refugees in accordance with international human rights standards.

UK campaigners can write to:

The People’s Bureau of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
HE Mr Omar R Jelban
15 Knightsbridge
London
SW1X 7LY

Fax: +44 207 245 0588

c) Write to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and appeal to him to take urgent action regarding the state of the Eritrean refugees in Libya.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
High Commissioner Mr. Antonio Guterres
Case Postale 2500
CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt
Suisse.

Alternatively you can email UNHCR by visiting link http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/contact?hq=y

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Sample letters are given below for your convenience

Sample Letter to Rt. Hon David Miliband MP

[Your Name]

[Your Address]

[Date]

Rt. Hon. David Miliband MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Dear Mr David Miliband,

Re: Eritrean and Other Refugees Detained in Misratah, Libya

I am very concerned about the welfare of hundreds of refugees, mostly Eritreans, currently detained in Misratah, Libya. These detainees have never been charged or tried in court and are held, facing impending deportation to their homelands where they are likely to be subjected to ill-treatment and torture.

I appreciate the fact that the UNHCR has been successful in securing release for 54 of the Eritrean refugees. However, according to reports by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, several hundred refugees Eritreans still remain detained in Misratah. The detainees are held in deplorable conditions and are not provided with proper food, drink or medical facilities. Many are suffering from various illnesses such as TB. Further, many detainees have reportedly been physically and sexually abused by the prison security guards.

The Libyan authorities have already deported many of these refugees to their countries of origin where they may have faced ill-treatment. By doing so, Libya is in breach of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Organization of African Unity Convention to which it is a state party.

I request you to urge the Libyan authorities to treat the refugees in accordance with international human rights standards and assist them in their applications for asylum. They should ensure that the refugees are given the same rights as other Libyans.

I look forward to hearing from you soon on this urgent matter,

Yours sincerely,

[Your Signature]

[Your Name]

Sample Letter to HE Mr Omar R Jelban

[Your Name]

[Your Address]

[Date]

The People’s Bureau of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
HE Mr Omar R Jelban
15 Knightsbridge
London
SW1X 7LY

Dear Mr Omar R Jelban,

Assalam Alykum,

Re: Eritrean and Other Refugees Detained in Misratah, Libya

I am very concerned about the welfare of hundreds of refugees, mostly Eritreans, currently detained in Misratah, Libya. These detainees have never been charged or tried in court and are held, facing impending deportation to their homelands where they are likely to be subjected to ill-treatment and torture.

I appreciate the fact that the UNHCR has been successful in securing release for 54 of the Eritrean refugees. However, according to reports by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, several hundred refugees Eritreans still remain detained in Misratah. The detainees are held in deplorable conditions and are not provided with proper food, drink or medical facilities. Many are suffering from various illnesses such as TB. Further, many detainees have reportedly been physically and sexually abused by the prison security guards.

The Libyan authorities have already deported many of these refugees to their countries of origin where they may have faced ill-treatment. By doing so, Libya is in breach of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Organization of African Unity Convention to which it is a state party.

I urge your government to treat the refugees in accordance with international human rights standards and assist them in their applications for asylum. Please ensure that the refugees are given the same rights as other Libyans.

Yours sincerely,

[Your Signature]

[Your Name]

Sample Letter to UNHCR Mr Antonio Guterres

[Your Name]

[Your Address]

[Date]

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
High Commissioner Mr Antonio Guterres
Case Postale 2500
CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt
Suisse.

Dear Mr Antonio Guterres,

Re: Eritrean and Other Refugees Detained in Misratah, Libya

I am very concerned about the welfare of hundreds of refugees, mostly Eritreans, currently detained in Misratah, Libya. These detainees have never been charged or tried in court and are held, facing impending deportation to their homelands where they are likely to be subjected to ill-treatment and torture.

I appreciate the fact that the UNHCR has been successful in securing release for 54 of the Eritrean refugees. However, according to reports by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, several hundred refugees Eritreans still remain detained in Misratah. The detainees are held in deplorable conditions and are not provided with proper food, drink or medical facilities. Many are suffering from various illnesses such as TB. Further, many detainees have reportedly been physically and sexually abused by the prison security guards.

The Libyan authorities have already deported many of these refugees to their countries of origin where they may have faced ill-treatment. By doing so, Libya is in breach of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Organization of African Unity Convention to which it is a state party.

I request you to investigate this case and urge the Libyan authorities to treat the refugees in accordance with international human rights standards.

I look forward to hearing from you soon on this urgent matter,

Yours sincerely,

[Your Signature]

[Your Name]

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