European Union-financed Libyans endanger refugees, rescuers


This 10 May 2017 video is called Libyan Coast Guard puts refugees and rescuers in danger.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

“They brought the people on board without life jackets. That is extremely dangerous. What happens there is unacceptable.”

Captain Ruben Lampart

He has no good word for the action of the Libyan coast guard on the Mediterranean. Ruben Lampart is the captain of Sea Watch lifeboat that was almost collided on purpose by Libyans yesterday. “Those people have seriously endangered us and themselves, and we’re lucky we’re still alive.”

The coast guard attacked to intercept a boat with migrants. According to a spokesman [of one of many governments in Libya], the Libyans were bothered during their work by Sea Watch. “They wanted to bring the migrants to Italy because Libya would not be safe.”

Dear Mr Spokesman of one of the various governments in the bloody civil war in Libya: Libya IS not safe. Ever since NATO started its ‘humanitarian’ regime change war in 2011, Libya became a country of massive bloodshed, torture, ruined healthcare, and the worst child abuse in the world.

The Libyan mission is supported by the European Union with money, equipment and training. At an EU summit in early February, the member states agreed to work closely with the Libyans …

The precedent was the EU-Turkey [anti-refugee] deal … The problem for the EU is that there is big chaos in Libya, which still enables migrants to travel to Italy. There are three governments fighting for power, the EU recognizes one of these. …

To make it even more problematic: the Libyans turn out not to have a strategy to curb the migrant stream. EU officials told Reuters news agency that at the end of last month. …

More than 1150 people drowned or went missing [in the first four months of 2017].

The approximately 500 people aboard the ship intercepted yesterday were mostly from Morocco and Bangladesh. “The latter are a completely new group of migrants that originated in Libya,” says [NOS] correspondent Zoutberg. “The Bengalis are now the third most numerous category of migrants who try to cross.”

Zoutberg makes it look as if Moroccans and Bangladeshis now suddenly appear out of nowhere in Libya. However, before the NATO war started in 2011, Libya was the richest country in Africa. That attracted many immigrant workers: eg, from Morocco and other North African countries, European countries like Croatia, from sub-Saharan Africa, and Bangladesh. When the war started, racist and xenophobic propaganda by NATO’s Libyan allies depicted immigrant workers as supposedly ‘Gaddafi regime mercenaries’. That led to torture and other violence against them. Ever since, these immigrant workers try to flee NATO’s ‘new’ Libya.

The group has been taken to the naval base in Tripoli by the coast guard. According to Sea Watch, the entire operation was illegal because the migrants had to be brought to a safe port from international waters. Libya can not provide safety, the rescuers say. They want the EU to change its migration policy in the Mediterranean.

NATO’s ‘new’ Libya, world’s worst child abuse


This 30 October 2011 video is called Jean Bricmont: The 3 victims of the lie of the humanitarian war in Libya.

From the BBC today:

Libya exposed as an epicentre for migrant child abuse

By Paul Adams, BBC News

The United Nations has warned that large numbers of children are still risking their lives to make the dangerous journey from Libya to Italy.

Unicef says almost 26,000 children – most of them unaccompanied – crossed the Mediterranean last year.

In its new report, Unicef says many children suffer from violence and sexual abuse at the hands of smugglers and traffickers.

But they rarely report their abuse, for fear of arrest and deportation.

The agency also says there is a lack of food, water and medical care in Libya’s detention centres.

The plight of children, many of them unaccompanied by parents, has become a tragically familiar part of the wider story of mass migration over the past two years.

But while much has been said about the extreme dangers faced at sea, the privations experienced on land, especially in Libya, are less familiar.

Unicef’s latest report, A Deadly Journey for Children, documents – in sometimes horrific detail – stories of slavery, violence and sexual abuse experienced by huge numbers of vulnerable children making their perilous way to Italy.

“What really shocked Unicef staff and me… is what happens to them [children] on this route,” says Justin Forsyth, the organisation’s deputy executive director. “Many of these children have been brutalised, raped, killed on this route.”

Girls such as nine-year-old Kamis, who set off with her mother from their home in Nigeria. After a desert crossing in which a man died, followed by a dramatic rescue at sea, they found themselves held at a detention centre in the Libyan town of Sabratha.

I was in Sabratha when that torture jail was still not there, only the ancient Roman theatre and other archaeological buildings; before NATO’s ‘humanitarian’ war on Libya. I cry.

“They used to beat us every day,” Kamis told the researchers. “There was no water there either. That place was very sad. There’s nothing there.”

Much of the violence is gratuitous, and much of it is sexual.

“Nearly half the women and children interviewed had experienced sexual abuse during migration,” the report says. “Often multiple times and in multiple locations.”

Borders, it seems, are particularly dangerous.

“Sexual violence was widespread and systemic at crossings and checkpoints,” says the report.

Many of the assailants are in uniform. This is said to be just one reason why those who suffer abuse are reluctant to report their experiences.

And Libya, as the funnel through which so many journeys pass, has earned itself a shocking reputation as the epicentre of abuse.

“Approximately one third [of those interviewed] indicated they had been abused in Libya,” the report says. “A large majority of these children did not answer when asked who had abused them.”

So commonplace are stories of rape and sexual enslavement that some women embarking on the journey take precautions, such as getting contraceptive injections and carrying emergency protection with them.

The report maps 34 known detention centres in Libya, three of them deep in the country’s desert interior.

Most are run by the government’s

Which government? There are several governments in Libya fighting each other.

Department for Combating Illegal Migration. But Unicef says that armed groups also hold migrants in an unknown number of unofficial camps.

“The detention centres run by militias, we’re much more worried about,” says Mr Forsyth. “That’s where a lot of abuse is happening and we have very, very limited access.”

In 2016, more than 180,000 migrants crossed from Libya to Italy. According to the UN, almost 26,000 of these were children, most of them unaccompanied. The number of unaccompanied children appears to be soaring.

“It’s a combination of factors,” says Mr Forsyth. “The situation in places like Eritrea and northern Nigeria is very bad. Also in the Gambia recently.”

‘I wanted to cross the sea’

Politics aside, poverty and the promise of a better life remain key drivers.

“I wanted to cross the sea,” 14-year-old Issaa told researchers. “Look for work, work hard to earn a bit of money to help my five brothers at home.”

But two and a half years after leaving home in Niger, Issaa was found living alone in a Libyan detention centre.

“My father collected money for my journey, he wished me luck and then let me go.”

The migrants are, of course, heavily dependent on smugglers to get them through the desert and across the sea.

A recent case when dozens bodies were found washed up on the shore near the western city Zawiya shows that this remains extremely hazardous.

But smuggling is all-too often associated with human trafficking. Victims accept migration packages from criminal gangs, only to find themselves forced into prostitution to repay their debts.

Libya is a major transit hub for women being trafficked to Europe for sex,” the report says.

Libya’s continuing political turmoil makes it extraordinarily difficult to tackle a phenomenon, which the report says has spiralled out of control.

But Unicef is urging Libya, its neighbours and regional organisations to do more to protect children.

A regional initiative, it says, would include improved birth registration, the prevention of trafficking, safe and legal pathways for children fleeing armed conflict and, where appropriate, family reunification.

“Whether they’re migrants or refugees, let’s treat them like children,” says Mr Forsyth. “It’s a reflection of our humanity, our values, how we respond to this crisis.”

European Union Juncker, anti-Libyan refugees hardliner


This 9 September 2011 video is called Black refugees from Libya – interviewed: “Rebels? – Al Jazeera?” – “Only criminals and liars!”

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Juncker pushes for even tougher line on Libya refugees

Thursday 26th January 2017

EUROPEAN Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker urged European leaders yesterday to endorse sweeping measures to bar tens of thousands of desperate people from leaving Libya in search of better lives in Europe.

The commission published documents insisting that leaders should “deploy the full range of EU missions and projects” to help Libya manage its borders …”

Libya, which has been ravaged by war and corruption since Britain and France deployed air power to assist the overthrow of late dictator Muammar Gadaffi, is a main departure point for African migrants trying to reach Europe via Italy.

More than 181,000 people attempted the dangerous central Mediterranean crossing last year, with about 4,500 dying or disappearing.

Mr Juncker noted that “too many people are still dying in the Mediterranean,” adding: “First and foremost, stability in Libya and the region as a whole is required.”

Some senior EU officials predict that record new migrant arrivals are likely again this year, but Libya has no stable central authority that the Europeans can negotiate effectively with.

The EU has tried for several years to cobble together migration polices while people died at sea.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, has warned that a new migrant crisis could reach European shores in coming months as the weather warms.

The EU leaders, who will meet in Malta’s capital Valletta on February 3, are urged to earmark more funds to train Libya’s coastguard.

Libya’s Red Crescent recovered the bodies of 74 migrants when they washed ashore in northwestern Libya near the town of Zawiya (30 miles west of Tripoli) early Wednesday morning. The Red Crescent indicated there were many more casualties, but that the rough seas prevented them from recovering the rest of the bodies: here.

Bloodshed in NATO’s ‘new’ Libya continues


This video says about itself:

Regime Change in Libya Mirrors Iraq: Both Efforts Led to Failed States & Destabilized Region

26 August 2016

As we speak with scholar Vijay Prashad about how the United States carried out regime change in Libya and left behind a failed state, he notes: “The story in Libya is not dissimilar to the story in Iraq.” Both are politically divided societies in which the United States deposed long-entrenched leaders, Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and left behind failed states. Prashad adds that “in both instances, when the strongman was captured … they said, ‘We are ready to negotiate,’ and the United States essentially was not interested in negotiating.” He says the outcome in Libya contributed to the destabilization of Mali, Tunisia and much of northern Africa.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Libya: Bloodshed rages in Tripoli for second day

Saturday 3rd December 2016

FIGHTING among militias in Libya’s capital Tripoli raged for a second day yesterday, the worst violence in two years.

Witnesses said battles continued in the south-eastern Nasr Forest district and adjacent districts between factions fighting for control over the capital.

The clashes started on Thursday and reportedly left eight dead. During a lull of violence late on Thursday night, panicked residents lined up in front of petrol stations.

One of the warring factions, the Tripoli Revolutionaries, accused rivals of abductions, killings and people-trafficking.

Unconfirmed social media posts also reported that one of the factions had taken over Libya’s central bank.

Tripoli is the base of the UN-backed Government of National Accord, which has yet to fill most of its advertised cabinet posts.

Seven civilians killed in Tripoli clashes, Tripoli Medical Center confirms: here.

Libyan Labels: a journey through the Guardian’s coverage of the Libyan disaster: here.

Bloodshed in ‘new’ Libya continues


This video says about itself:

24 February 2015

Egypt on Tuesday rejected accusations of blame in the death of seven civilians killed in Libya last week when Cairo’s military bombed suspected Islamist militant targets after the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians. A report on Monday from Amnesty International in London said the Egyptian air force had “failed to take the necessary precautions” during the attack and had “joined the ranks of those placing civilians at risk in Libya“. Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Sunday, before the Amnesty report was released, that the air force had hit 13 targets selected after careful study and reconnaissance to avoid civilian casualties.

Talking about Nicolas Sarkozy, who tonight lost the confidence of his own right-wing French political party. Sarkozy also in 2011 started a bloody ‘regime change’ war in Libya; jointly with David Cameron of Britain, Hillary Clinton of the USA, and others.

Ever since that ‘humanitarian intervention’, bloodshed in NATO’s ‘new’ Libya continues.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

During battles between tribes in southern Libya since Thursday at least sixteen people have been killed.

Gambian national team goalkeeper drowns off Libya


Fatim Jawara

I was in the Gambia. I saw there how much Gambian people love football. There was a match on TV. Not of the Gambian competition, but English Premier League. Still, much interest and enthusiasm.

Now, terrible news.

This video says about itself:

3 November 2016

The 19-year-old goalkeeper of Gambia’s national women’s football team has drowned in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe.

From Bleacher Report:

Gambia Goalkeeper Fatim Jawara Dies Crossing the Mediterranean Sea

By Rory Marsden, Featured Columnist

Nov 3, 2016

Gambia women’s national team goalkeeper Fatim Jawara died last month on a boat in the Mediterranean Sea while she was travelling from Libya to Europe “in the hope of starting a new life.”

She wanted to become a professional player, not possible in the Gambia.

According to AFP (via the Guardian), Jawara, believed to have been 19 years old, left Gambia for Libya in September to attempt to then get to Europe by sea and subsequently died when the boat she was on “ran into trouble in the Mediterranean.”

Per the report, the treacherous crossing has claimed the lives of over 3,300 migrants in 2016, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

Jawara’s death was confirmed to the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) by the agent she had paid to help her leave Libya, per John Atuke of Nigerian outlet Vanguard.

Lamin Kaba Bajo, president of the GFF, remarked upon the tragic nature of Jawara’s death, per Atuke:

“I received the news today and it has really shocked me. The young girl is a talent and on the move for greener pastures but the way she died is just shocking … . We at the GFF are very sad about the development and on behalf of the Football Federation, I want to send our condolences to the family of the girl and her former club Red Scorpions.”

Atuke added that she was part of the Gambia squad that were at the Under-17 World Cup in Azerbaijan in 2012 and played for club side Red Scorpions.

Per AFP, her senior debut for the Gambia national team came against a team from Glasgow [in Scotland] a year ago, while the report relayed remarks from Chorro Mbenga, assistant coach of the under-17 side, in which Jawara first emerged: “Her death is untimely, but we will remember her for her great performances on the pitch.”

Ms Jawara managed to stop a penalty kick by the Scottish side.

This 4 November 2016 video commemorates Fatim Jawara.

She will never ever stop penalty kicks again.

Like Somali Olympic athlete Samia Yusuf Omar will never ever run a 200 meter race again. A refugee from her warn-torn country, Ms Omar drowned off the coast of Libya as well.

‘Thank you’, European Union bosses with your ‘Fortress Europe’ policies. You, who are egging on human rights violations against refugees from Italy to Greece to Libya.

‘Thank you’, politicians like Sarkozy in France and Cameron in Britain; who with their ‘humanitarian’ war made Libya a hell for its inhabitants and refugees, and a paradise for violent racists, violent jihadists, torturers and people-smuggling crooks, profiting from the despair of the victims of yet more ‘humanitarian’ wars.

The NATO war opened up in Libya ‘golden’ opportunities for men with racist ideas against people from the Gambia or other African countries. At least, Fatim Jawara survived that. I, and millions of people all over the world, cry that she did not survive the next bloody obstacle to her sportwoman’s dream.

Which Libyan government kills refugees?


This video says about itself:

Drowning for Freedom: Libya’s Migrant Jails (Part 1)

17 March 2015

As Libya descends further into civil war and lawlessness, migrants from Africa and the Middle East continue to journey to the country’s coast in search of smugglers to take them across the Mediterranean Sea and into Europe.

Search and rescue operations by Libya’s coast guard are restricted due to diminishing resources, and have to contend with dangerous gangs of armed traffickers.

Those rescued at sea by the coast guard are brought to detention centers, where they face deplorable conditions and are forced to remain for long periods of time. In some instances, migrants are detained by militias in unofficial prisons outside of government control.

In part one of a three-part series, VICE News is given access to chilling footage filmed by the Libyan coast guard, who have witnessed an influx of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea, recovering hundreds of bodies of those who’ve drowned on their journey to Europe.

These two videos are the sequels.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Libyans attack, kill refugees

Today, 16:04

At about twenty kilometers from the Libyan coast a boat with refugees tonight was attacked by a ship which said it was Libyan coast guard. The private charity Sea Watch reports this. At least four refugees were killed, 15 to 25 people are still missing.

The drama took place while a ship of the rescue organization Sea Watch was trying to help the dinghy with refugees. The crew handed life jackets to the approximately 150 refugees when a ship appeared, which was, according to Sea Watch, Libyan coast guard.

Steal

The Libyans tried, according to Sea Watch, to steal the motor of the boat with refugees. They climbed aboard the boat and struck the refugees with batons. Panicked refugees jumped off the boat into the Mediterranean.

Sea Watch crew managed to rescue about 120 people from the water. Four people were dragged dead out of the water, while at least 15 and possibly 25 people remained in the sea.

It is unclear how the attack finished and whether it was indeed a Libyan coast guard ship.

There is not one government in Libya. There are several paramilitary groups claiming to be the government, killing each other and civilians. Possibly, several of these militias have their own ‘coast guard’.

Sea Watch is a German aid organization founded by private individuals and has been active since a year and a half with one ship in the Mediterranean. According to their own statement, Sea Watch this year has saved thousands of refugees.

Dutch navy training Libyan coast guard ‘to stop refugees‘.

End the inhuman detention of migrants in Libya. New report here.