Alert Update: Libya: All Ethiopian and Somali Refugees Deported

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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16 July 2007

Alert Update: Libya: All Ethiopian and Somali Refugees Deported

1. Summary

All Ethiopian and Somali refugees held at the detention facility in Misratah, Libya have been deported to their homelands where they may be arrested and tortured upon arrival. Several hundred Eritrean refugees held at the same facility believe that they will be next. Their fears have been confirmed by announcements made by official Eritrean media that Libya will be deporting all such refugees, including Eritreans.

2. Background

According to recent reports, all Ethiopian and Somali refugees held at the detention facility in Misratah, Libya have been deported to their homelands where they may be arrested and tortured upon arrival. These refugees had fled their respective countries of origin to escape oppression and ill-treatment.

The Eritrean refugees, currently detained in Misratah, believe they will be deported next. According to Amnesty International (AI) reports, the Eritrean refugees had their personal details recorded by prison security officials a few weeks ago and some of them were informed that they will be deported. AI reports further state that the official media coverage in Eritrea has confirmed the fears of these detained Eritreans. Radio and television channels in Eritrea announced that the Libyan authorities will be deporting all ‘suspected irregular migrants, making specific reference to Eritrean nationals’.

If these Eritreans are deported then it is believed that they will be tortured and held incommunicado, without charge or trial, ‘as punishment for “betraying” the country or fleeing military service’.

You can read more about these recent developments in AI’s report at http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE190102007?open&of=ENG-2AF

For a detailed account of the conditions of these refugees, please visit IHRC’s briefing https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=2835

Please refer to our previous alert about the refugees in Libya at: https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=2836

2. Action Required

Please write letters of appeal to the following, you can use the letter templates provided in the previous alert, adding to them the above-mentioned recent developments.

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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“And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.”
Holy Qur’an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

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