Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

Foreigners complain of harassment by Libya rebels

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU
The Northerner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 04:18 PM
Original message
Foreigners complain of harassment by Libya rebels
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) -- A Ghanaian teacher cowers in his house, certain he will be grabbed at a checkpoint because of his dark skin. Armed rebels detain 19 Ukrainian cooks and oil workers for several days on unsupported claims that they are really snipers for Moammar Gadhafi.

They're among thousands of foreigners caught in a web of suspicion as rebel fighters pursue the remnants of Gadhafi's forces. Gadhafi hired some foreigners as mercenaries, but many others held ordinary jobs in Libya, and the rebels who ousted the Gadhafi regime from most of Tripoli last month often seem to make little effort to tell them apart.

"How can we be snipers?" cook Maksim Shadrov asked angrily at a training center for oil workers in Tripoli where he, his wife and 17 other Ukrainians were being held.

"They are old. She is a woman. We are not snipers," he said, pointing to some members of his group. Even a rebel commander conceded that he had no evidence to the contrary, but held them nonetheless, despite a diplomat's efforts to free them.

In rebel-run Tripoli, people with dark skin - even Libyans - are at risk because Gadhafi is known to have recruited soldiers from sub-Saharan Africa.

Read more:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:17 PM
Response to Original message
1. if Kadaffy hired black mercenaries, why are they harassing Ukrainians?
Just a bunch of nationalist bigots, looking for any excuse to kick foreigners around is my guess.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
2. Libyans Turn Wrath on Dark-Skinned Migrants
Published: September 4, 2011

TRIPOLI, Libya As rebel leaders pleaded with their fighters to avoid taking revenge against brother Libyans, many rebels were turning their wrath against migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, imprisoning hundreds for the crime of fighting as mercenaries for Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi without any evidence except the color of their skin.

Many witnesses have said that when Colonel Qaddafi first lost control of Tripoli in the earliest days of the revolt, experienced units of dark-skinned fighters apparently from other African countries arrived in the city to help subdue it again. Since Western journalists began arriving in the city a few days later, however, they have found no evidence of such foreign mercenaries.

Still, in a country with a long history of racist violence, it has become an article of faith among supporters of the Libyan rebels that African mercenaries pervaded the loyalists ranks. And since Colonel Qaddafis fall from power, the hunting down of people suspected of being mercenaries has become a major preoccupation.

Human rights advocates say the rebels scapegoating of blacks here follows a similar campaign that ultimately included lynchings after rebels took control of the eastern city of Benghazi more than six months ago. The recent roundup of Africans, though, comes at a delicate moment when the new provisional government is trying to establish its credibility. Its treatment of the detainees is emerging as a pivotal test of both the provisional governments commitment to the rule of law and its ability to control its thousands of loosely organized fighters. And it is also hoping to entice back the thousands of foreign workers needed to help Libya rebuild.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Too bad those early reports were ignored, of rapes and
lynchings. But who's going to believe the immigrants? This was no Egyptian type revolution, from very early on.

Libya: Migrants Suffer in Tripoli Camps

The ability of ad-hoc local citizens' committees to arrest and detain anyone, especially vulnerable migrants, has troubled human rights workers, who are concerned that there is no accountable justice system, even a temporary one, yet in place.

Many described how race-based discrimination and violence, long an issue in Libya, had been inflamed by the war.

Justice Ansan, a stringy 45-year-old Ghanaian with a salt-and-pepper goatee, was living with other migrants in a house in Tripoli when, around two weeks ago, six men broke inside, demanding money. Ansan struggled with one of the men, who pulled a knife and stabbed him low in the pelvis, leaving a five-inch cut up through his belly. They stole Ansan's passport and $4,000 - his life savings. He spent three days in hospital, having avoided any serious internal injury, and then came to the camp.

"Once you're a black man, even the small boys oppress you," Ogiexeri said.

Camp residents have alleged that when rebels advanced through the area on their way to the capital around two weeks ago, opposition fighters came into the camp, assembled everyone there, then stole some of their possessions and raped some of the women. Aid workers who have taken down accounts of rape say there is no way to know for certain who committed the acts, especially since the territory was contested at the time.

Someone better get control of this before there it is too late for many of these people.

Isn't NATO'S role supposed to be protecting civilians?? Are these people NOT who they should be protecting? They are unarmed and unprotected and definitely targets of violent people who ARE armed?

What a lie this whole thing was ~ NATO is there to secure the oil, that is all they are there for.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
4. HRW: Libya: Stop Arbitrary Arrests of Black Africans
Vulnerable Migrant Workers in Tripoli Need Protection
September 4, 2011

(Tripoli) The de facto authorities in Tripoli, the National Transitional Council (NTC), should stop the arbitrary arrests and abuse of African migrant workers and black Libyans assumed to be mercenaries, Human Rights Watch said today. They should release those detained as mercenaries solely due to their dark skin color, Human Rights Watch said, and provide prompt judicial review to any for whom there is evidence of criminal activity.

Both the NTC and those who are supporting it need to prioritize setting up a justice system capable of providing such review of detainees as quickly as possible.

The NTC should also implement its stated commitment to human rights by ensuring the security of tens of thousands of migrant workers from sub-Saharan Africa, who face harassment and violence from both armed rebel fighters and Libyan citizens who accuse them of having fought as mercenaries for Gaddafi, Human Rights Watch said.

Its a dangerous time to be dark-skinned in Tripoli, said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. The NTC should stop arresting African migrants and black Libyans unless it has concrete evidence of criminal activity. It should also take immediate steps to protect them from violence and abuse.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Mon Jan 22nd 2018, 03:01 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]

Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC