Italian government deports refugees to Libyan war, slavery

This 28 June 2017 British TV video says about itself:

Rescued African migrants say they are fleeing slavery

Italy has threatened to stop foreign boats carrying migrants rescued in the central Mediterranean Sea from docking in its ports unless other EU countries do more to help. It comes amid a surge in arrivals in recent days, as we reported last night from aboard a German rescue vessel. Tonight we hear from the migrants and refugees themselves.

A warning: this report contains images and testimony that you may find distressing.

Back in 2017, there was not yet the present Italian government including neofascists. The 2017 Italian government called itself ‘centrist‘.

By Martin Kreickenbaum:

Italy assists in illegal mass repatriation of refugees to Libya

6 August 2018

On July 30, 108 refugees rescued at sea by an Italian merchant vessel were returned to Libya in a flagrant violation of international law. According to multiple media reports, the Italian maritime rescue centre in Rome, the Libyan Coast Guarddominated by militias—and representatives of Eni, the Italian oil and gas company operating off the Libyan coast, collaborated in this illegal mass repatriation.

The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR posted on Twitter that details relating to the case were being examined. “Libya is not a safe harbour and this action could have violated international law”, wrote the UNHCR. A mass repatriation of refugees without prior examination of their right to asylum is also a violation of international law.

On July 30, the Italian tugboat Asso 28 brought 108 refugees on board, including children and pregnant women, whose inflatable raft was in distress some 60 nautical miles off the Libyan coast, near the offshore platform “Sabratha.” The platform belonged to the Mellitah Oil & Gas joint venture, in which the Italian company Eni as well as the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) are participants.

According to information provided by the Eni corporation, a representative of the Libyan Coast Guard stationed on the platform boarded Asso 28 and led the rescue operation. Later, a boat from the Libyan Coast Guard led Asso 28 to port in Tripoli, where the refugees were brought ashore.

In the course of these activities, the Italian captain not only repeatedly violated international law, apparently in coordination with the Italian maritime rescue centre, he also set a precedent for further illegal mass repatriations.

The Italian Coast Guard claims the rescue “was coordinated by the Libyan Coast Guard, which also led the entire operation.” This raises the question, however: Who informed the Libyan Coast Guard about a refugee boat in distress in international waters? Refugees are generally found to have satellite phones on board in which the number of the Italian maritime rescue centre is already saved.

Riccardo Gatti, who heads the operations of the private rescue ship Proactiva Open Arms, said the first report about the raft in distress came from the Italian rescue centre. The Proactiva Open Arms set course for the raft, but the Italian Coast Guard refused every attempt to contact it. Through its inaction, the Italian coast guard is complicit in this illegal mass repulsion of refugees.

It remains unclear who instructed the captain of Asso 28 to bring the refugees to Libya. The Libyan Coast Guard has no authority over an Italian ship in international waters. Gatti claims to have intercepted a radio message saying Asso 28 had to follow the “instructions of the platform.” If that is the case, it would mean that the Eni corporation ultimately ordered the mass repatriation.

Eni has since 2015 worked closely with militia leader Ahmed Dabbashi in the Melittah gas field off the Libyan coast. The United Nations is taking action against Dabbashi for severe human rights violations against refugees. One year ago, several media outlets reported that the then-government in Rome had agreed to pay Dabbashi millions to keep refugees from the Libyan port city of Sabratha from reaching Italy and detaining them in Libyan internment camps.

One can assume that the current illegal repatriation of refugees is a direct consequence of this dirty arrangement.

Libya is not a signatory to the Geneva Refugee Convention and is therefore not considered a safe harbour for refugees. In returning the refugees in question, the captain of Asso 28 has made himself liable for prosecution under international law.

The refugees aboard Asso 28 should not have been denied the right to apply for asylum. As Marina Castellaneta, professor for international law at the University of Bari, explained to Spiegel Online: according to all international conventions, states must grant everyone the opportunity to request asylum and protect these persons for as long as asylum proceedings are underway. The state has the obligation to prevent ships operating under its flag from simply repatriating such people.

In 2012, the European Court of Human Rights condemned Italy for its illegal repatriation of refugees to Libya. Now the European Union … are themselves involved in these inhumane and illegal actions.

In a hypocritical press release, the EU Commission condemned the mass repatriation. Libya has not met “international standards for taking in refugees”, explained commission spokesperson Natasha Bertaud last Tuesday. In fact, the EU has in recent months supported the large-scale repatriation of refugees to Libya and backed the Italian and Maltese governments in their effort to block access to their ports for refugees stranded at sea.

As part of the “Operation Sophia” initiative in the Mediterranean, the EU trained the Libyan Coast Guard and provided it with 16 ships. At the end of June, Libyan authorities, with the support of the EU, established their own search-and-rescue zone, which extends far beyond 12 nautical miles from shore, the internationally recognized distance at which territorial waters end and international waters begin. This search-and-rescue zone has been recognized by the International Maritime Organization, an agency of the United Nations, although the Libyan control centre is not staffed 24 hours a day and not all of its staff speak English.

The Libyan Coast Guard has access to satellite data for the tracking of refugee boats, while the Moonbird plane operating out of Malta by the private relief organization Sea-Watch is no longer permitted to search for people in distress.

In the haphazard search-and-rescue zone, the Libyan Coast Guard regularly demands the handing over of rescued refugees. It does not shrink from the use of firearms to enforce this demand. Despite this, the Libyan government receives backing from Italian prosecuting authorities. They seized the rescue ship Proactiva Open Arms because it refused to hand over refugees to the Libyan Coast Guard.

One year ago, more than a dozen private rescue ships still operated on the central Mediterranean route and saved tens of thousands of refugees from drowning. Now most of them are docked, having been seized by Italian and Maltese authorities. Their operational possibilities have been drastically limited by the Italian government.

This has resulted in a humanitarian disaster. In July of this year, only 1,972 refugees made it to Italy. In the same month the previous year, there were 23,552—more than ten times the current number. The number of causalities on this route stood at 68 in July of last year. It more than doubled to 157 by July of this year.

To this must be added an untold number of drowned refugees, whose calls for help no one could hear. More than 12,000 refugees have been taken back to Libya, where “Hell” awaits, as Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, has himself been compelled to admit.

In the Libyan ports, refugees are generally received by UN representatives who then pass them on to the authorities. They are then brought for an indefinite period of time to internment camps where inhumane conditions prevail.

Hanan Salah of Human Rights Watch reported on the conditions at one such camp following an inspection visit:

“As we opened the gate to a corridor in one prison, we almost stumbled over several people who sat pressed against one another on the floor. They had come out of their cells to get some air in the hallway, but even there they sat packed side by side. There must have been hundreds of them. Many gasped for air because it was so suffocating.

“Many of the toilets and showers are broken. It is very hot and there are no fans. The people there have no freedom of movement. They spend almost the entire day in their cells. Even the many children are not allowed to go out. Even more disturbing was the terrible abuse of the immigrants and refugees by the guards. We observed that some immigrants are sold off from one trader to another and are forced to work without pay for smugglers, militias or private business people. They beat people, imprison them and treat many immigrants like slaves.”


NATO’s Libyan child soldier, Ariana Grande concert terrorist

This ABC News video says about itself:

22 May 2017

At an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena in England, at least 19 are dead, 50 injured following an explosion.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Manchester bomb attacker was rescued from Libya by British

The man who committed a suicide attack last year in the Manchester Arena was rescued by the British Navy four years ago from the civil war in Libya. The Daily Mail and The Independent report that the suicide bomber Salman Abedi was one of 100 residents of the United Kingdom who were evacuated by the warship Enterprise.

The Enterprise brought the group to Malta; they flew to England from there. Abedi, who has Libyan parents, was in Libya with his younger brother on holiday in August 2014. That was when heavy fighting broke out. British diplomats arranged the evacuation of residents of the United Kingdom.

Here, the NOS report forgets that not only did the British armed forces, in a broader sense: the British government, bring Salman Albedi out of the 2014 bloody fighting in Libya to Britain. Three years earlier, in 2011, the British ‘intelligence’ service, in a broader sense: the British government, had spirited Abedi away from Britain to Libya, to serve as child soldier cannon fodder in NATO’s Libya war. That hellish war completely fucked up child soldier Abedi’s mind and paved the way for him perpetrating the horrible Ariana Grande concert bloodbath.

The attack in Manchester at the end of the concert of Ariana Grande cost the lives of 22 people. Among the dead were seven children, the youngest one was 8.

The British security services were already monitoring Salman Abedi, but the investigation had been halted a month before his evacuation. That decision was later reviewed and approved.

The Daily Mail quotes a government official in London who says that the bloodbath by Abedi must be seen as an ultimate apostle Judas-like betrayal in the light of his rescue from Libya.

Yes, Mr government official: there is a word for this: ‘blowback‘. Blowback from British Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron’s war on Libya. Like the blowback from British Blairite Prime Minister Tony Blair’s war on Iraq, which caused the rise of ISIS terrorism.

Abedi’s brother Hashem is held in Libya by a militia. The British request for extradition has been rejected.

British police and intelligence forces were revealed last week to be using children as spies. The filthy practice affects an unknown number of young people and has been ongoing for an unknown time period. Some child spies are reported to be under 16 years of age. The exposure only came to public attention because of concerns raised by the House of Lords committee charged with scrutinising secondary legislation: here.

Bloodshed in Libya, worse than ever

Warlord Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi, AFP photo

On this AFP photo we see warlord Khalifa Haftar. Formerly living in the USA as a CIA asset. Haftar, the boss of a militia which includes salafist religious fanatics. One of many militias killing each other and civilians in Libya. Haftar’s uniform looks spotless. Not even one drop of blood. Very different from many Libyan civilians.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

UN alarm about Libyan city Derna: fierce fighting and no water

The violence in the Libyan city of Derna has reached a new low point. The city is being bombed by air raids, residential areas are being shot at by artillery and ground fights are taking place. The UN agency for humanitarian affairs (OCHA) writes this in a report.

Some 125,000 people live in Derna. They are largely devoid of water, food and medicines. The electricity and water supply of the city is gone.

Although Libya has been plagued by violence between militant militias and rogue army divisions since the deposition of dictator Gaddafi in 2011, the UN calls the current situation in Derna “unprecedented”.

Gaddafi was not simply ‘deposed’. A coalition of NATO and jihadist militias attacked Libya, starting bloodbaths of civilians which still continue. Then, Gaddafi was murdered cruelly. Probably at the instigation of French President Sarkozy, who, like many other NATO country politicians, used to be a buddy of Gaddafi until just before starting the war. Sarkozy was scared that if Gaddafi would be on trial, then he might reveal the Libyan money scandal in Sarkozy’s presidential election campaign.


The eastern city has been surrounded by the Libyan National Army (LNA) [official sounding name for Haftar’s militia] since July last year under the leadership of General Khalifa Haftar. …

The LNA is being helped by Egypt from the air.

While Egyptian dictator Sisi helps Haftar, the Erdogan regime in Turkey and the Qatari absolute monarchy provide help to his opponents.

Massacre of refugees in NATO’s ‘new’ Libya

Refugees in a concentration camp in Bani Walid, Libya. 2018 Reuters photo

Today, Dutch NOS TV reports, basing itself on MSF/Doctors Without Borders, that Libyan jailers have killed at least 15 refugees. 25 refugees have been injured, some with dangerous bullet wounds and broken bones.

On Wednesday 23 May, the refugees had tried to flee from an ‘illegal’ prison in Bani Walid town, containing over 100 prisoners. Some managed to escape, but about 40 people, mainly women, are imprisoned again. MSF/Doctors Without Borders says the refugees are mainly teenagers from countries like Ethiopia and Somalia who wanted to claim asylum in Europe.

NOS TV says (translated):

Some of them were imprisoned for three years .. under appalling conditions. They have scars, burns and other injuries. They have since been transferred to detention centers in the capital Tripoli.

Presumably, ‘legal’ prisons, officially recognized by NATO countries’ governments. Also presumably, just as bad places of torture as the ‘illegal’ Bani Walid jail. NATO’s ‘humanitarian’ war on Libya made that country a hell of slavery and mass murder of refugees and of Libyan civilians.

NATO’s ‘new’ Libya, slavery and torture hell

This video says about itself:

Ivorian migrants returning from Libya, recount slavery ordeal
21 November 2017

At least 155 Ivorians have returned to Abidjan from Libya. Their repatriation has been organised by the International Organisation for Migration. It comes days after international news network CNN broadcast a report on the slave trade of migrants in Libya. The story has sent shockwaves through sub-Saharan Africa and angered governments and rights groups. Thuli Tshabalala has more.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Torture, executions and lawlessness in Libyan militia prisons

Armed militia hold thousands of men, women and children without trial in Libya in prisons. It violates massive human rights, reports a UN report. Prisoners are neglected, tortured and executed.

In recent years, politicians, activists, journalists and people loyal to the Gaddafi regime have been picked off the streets without warning. Their family usually has no idea where they are. Prisoners sit in small cells without daylight or ventilation. Contact with the outside world is not allowed.

Just in 2017, hospitals in the capital Tripoli counted 37 bodies with torture injuries. The UN researchers rely on testimonies, medical reports, photos and eyewitness reports. …

According to the report, the Libyan government has not attempted to curb or encapsulate the rebellious militias in the existing system. Instead, the militias have been used to enforce the law. The government has, among other things, armed and paid the militia.

In this way, they have become increasingly powerful and have taken matters into their own hands, including setting up prisons.

Sometimes the militias are also affiliated with the Libyan government, according to the report. The researchers have no idea how many people are stuck in the militia prisons.

Italy’s deal with Libya to ‘pull back’ migrants faces legal challenge. Migrants who are returned to Libya subjected to grave human rights violations, lawsuit claims: here. And here.

Close Libyan torture and slavery jails, Dutch government says

This Mediavision Uganda video says about itself:

26 November 2017

A slave market in 🇱🇾Libya for African immigrants.

🌍Africans mostly from 🇳🇪Nigeria and other countries trying to get to 🇮🇹Italy through Libya are being sold to Arab countries (Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia) @ $200 to $700, together with others, Libyan nationals who are against the Tripoli government. 🇺🇸USA is purely silent simply because it’s gaining millions of dollars from oil wells. These boys and girls are forced to work and are forced to fight in wars.

Translated from Natalie Righton in Dutch daily De Volkskrant, 8 March 2018, 19:16:

Minister Kaag: Libyan detention centers for migrants must be closed, circumstances are inhuman

The Libyan detention centers for migrants must be closed immediately. The conditions are too dehumanizing. This says Minister Kaag of International Development after a visit to Libya. In more than thirty state prisons, there are still about five thousand migrants arrested by the Libyan Coast Guard when they tried to reach Europe by boat. Thousands of others are locked up in prisons of armed groups.

‘State prisons’ are prisons of the armed group recognized by most NATO governments as the ‘government’ of Libya. Other armed groups claim to be ‘governments’ as well; and sometimes get semi-recognition of that by some NATO governments.

‘The centers, which are not suitable for humans, have to close’, according to Minister Kaag Wednesday after a visit to a detention center in Tajoura, a suburb of the Libyan capital Tripoli. This makes her the first EU member of government to come to this conclusion.

Kaag thinks that the Netherlands can not remain silent about exploitation and forced labour, just because Europe does not want migrants to reach the European coast. “On whatever side you are in this debate, we are all human”, says Kaag. … ‘This includes a humane asylum policy. This is not humane. ”

In line with the EU, the Dutch cabinet is also striving to keep as many African migrants as possible in Africa to prevent them from coming to Europe. But Kaag emphasizes that Libya is not a suitable candidate to make deals with for the time being, because of the administrative chaos that prevails there. …

Hell on earth

Migrants call the Libyan detention centers, speaking to human rights activists ‘hell on earth’, where torture, sexual abuse and even murders take place. The American channel CNN opened the eyes of many European politicians at the end of last year by showing how imprisoned migrants are resold as slaves. …

Libya has no clear border control like Turkey, with which the EU has a deal about stopping migrants. …

Last year, 110 thousand of the 180 thousand boat refugees departed from Libya to Europe.

Especially Italy, but also other EU member states are determined to further reduce the numbers. They finance the Libyan Coast Guard. The Italians reportedly also pay local Libyan militiamen to stop migrants. …

Kaag’s call to close the centers not only poses a dilemma for her European colleagues, but also for her coalition partners from VVD, CDA and Christen Unie. Because what should happen to the migrants who have been caught if they can not be taken to a detention center?

Kaag’s D66 party is the most ‘liberal’ in the Dutch four party government. Especially the VVD and CDA parties are anti-refugee hardliners.