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Lib Ya 0906 Web

Lib Ya 0906 Web

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Published by Mosé Zerai

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Published by: Mosé Zerai on Nov 08, 2010
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11/06/2011

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September 2006 Volume 18, No. 5(E)
Stemming the Flow:
Abuses Against Migrants, Asylum Seekers and Refugees
I. Summary.....................................................................................................................................1
 
Methodology..............................................................................................................................6
 
II. Key Recommendations...........................................................................................................8
 
 To the Government of Libya..................................................................................................8
 
 To the European Union...........................................................................................................9
 
 To the Government of Italy....................................................................................................9
 
III. Background...........................................................................................................................10
 
Libya’s Geography..................................................................................................................10
 
Libya’s Political System..........................................................................................................10
 
Human Rights in Libya..........................................................................................................11
 
Foreigners in Libya.................................................................................................................12
 
IV. Denial of the Right to Seek Asylum..................................................................................20
 
Draft Asylum Law..................................................................................................................23
 
UNHCR in Libya....................................................................................................................23
 
 V. Abuse during Arrest..............................................................................................................30
 
 Arrests on Entry and Departure...........................................................................................31
 
 Arrests in Urban Sweeps........................................................................................................33
 
 VI. Abuse in Detention..............................................................................................................38
 
Detention Conditions in Kufra.............................................................................................40
 
Conditions in Other Detention Facilities............................................................................44
 
Deportation Facilities.............................................................................................................48
 
Conditions in al-Fellah Deportation Center.......................................................................49
 
 VII. Forced Return.....................................................................................................................52
 
 The Deportation Process.......................................................................................................55
 
Dangers During Deportation................................................................................................56
 
Eritreans at High Risk of Refoulement...............................................................................57
 
 Temporary Reprieves for Some Nationalities....................................................................58
 
 VIII. Other Abuses Against Migrants and Refugees.............................................................60
 
Racially Motivated Violence..................................................................................................63
 
Foreigners in the Criminal Justice System...........................................................................67
 
 Torture......................................................................................................................................68
 
 
Unfair Trials.............................................................................................................................72
 
Prison Conditions...................................................................................................................74
 
Executions of Foreigners.......................................................................................................76
 
IX. Legal Standards.....................................................................................................................78
 
Libyan Law...............................................................................................................................78
 
Laws Regulating the Entry, Stay and Departure of Foreigners.......................................80
 
Other National Legislation....................................................................................................84
 
Libya and International Law.................................................................................................85
 
Libya’s Human Rights Commitments to Refugees and Migrants...................................86
 
Equal Application of Human Rights Obligations to Non-Nationals.............................89
 
X. Role of the European Union and Italy...............................................................................91
 
 The E.U.’s “Externalization” Agenda..................................................................................91
 
Libya as Partner in E.U. “Externalized” Asylum Processing...........................................93
 
 Absence of Refugee Protection Preconditions..................................................................96
 
Libya’s Reservations on Cooperation with the E.U..........................................................98
 
 The Italian Dimension...........................................................................................................99
 
Detention in Italy..................................................................................................................103
 
Expulsions..............................................................................................................................106
 
Push-backs.............................................................................................................................113
 
Italy in Breach of its Human Rights Obligations.............................................................114
 
Lack of Legal Basis for Returns to Libya..........................................................................117
 
XI. Detailed Recommendations..............................................................................................119
 
 To the Government of Libya..............................................................................................119
 
 To the African Union...........................................................................................................121
 
 To the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)...........................................121
 
 To the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).................................122
 
 To the International Organization for Migration (IOM)................................................122
 
 To the European Union.......................................................................................................123
 
 To European Union Institutions and E.U. Member States...........................................124
 
 To the Government of Italy................................................................................................125
 
XII. Acknowledgements..........................................................................................................127
 
 Appendix I..................................................................................................................................128
 
Introduction...........................................................................................................................128
 
Mistreatment During Arrest, Detention and Deportation.............................................130
 
 The Absence of any Laws or Regulations to Govern the Asylum Process.................133
 
Other Mistreatment of Migrants and Refugees................................................................134
 
 
 
1 HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH VOLUME 18, NO. 5(E)
I. Summary
“They kicked us, beat us, for no reason. When we asked for something to eat, the border policemen showed us a truck full of rotten food that cats were living in and told us to eat that.” 
 —Tesfai, an Eritrean migrant woman arrested on the outskirts of Kufrain 2003
“I can’t count the number of times I was beaten up on the street by Libyans… The  people in cars try to run you down. There are always insults on the street. You live in  fear. I just concentrated on getting home safely from work every day.” 
 —Ahmad, a Sudanese asylum seeker in Italy, describing conditions heexperienced in Libya from 1992-2003
“They hung me by a chain from the wall. There was a stick behind my knees, and my hands were tied to it. They hung me up on the wall. I stayed like that for forty-five minutes. They were beating me during that time. They told me ‘If we kill you, no one will know.’” 
 —Sub-Saharan African migrant describing treatment after his arrest fordrugs in 2004Not long ago, Libya opened its doors to foreigners. Eager for cheap labor, the Libyangovernment and its leader Mu`ammar al-Qadhafi welcomed Africans in the spirit of pan- African solidarity. Those days are gone. Around 2000, the government began fearing that too many foreigners had come, saturating the market for jobs. In a country with just over fivemillion people, well over one million non-Libyans had arrived. The government blamedthem for rising crime, new disease and social tension. Around the same time, European governments began pressuring Libya to control illegalmigration. In recent years thousands of sub-Saharan migrants, asylum seekers andrefugees have left Libya or transited through it to Europe, riding in packed smugglers’boats to Italy. The European Union has urged Libya to stem the flow.

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