Hundreds of refugees drown in Mediterranean, again

This video says about itself:

Libyan refugees recount horrors of journey to Europe

20 June 2015

More than 50,000 boat migrants have arrived in Italy from Libya this year, and roughly 2,000 have drowned while making the journey across the Mediterranean Sea. CCTV’s Stephanie Freid met one Libyan migrant who was terrified of crossing the sea, but grateful he made it alive. Watch the video to know more about his “horrible” journey.

By Martin Kreickenbaum:

Hundreds dead as refugee boat sinks in Mediterranean

7 August 2015

Up to 700 refugees were on board a fishing boat that capsized 15 nautical miles off the Libyan coast on Wednesday. More than 200 are feared drowned. According to the Italian coast guard, around 400 people were rescued, while 26 bodies were recovered from the sea so far. One hundred refugees were below deck at the time and likely went down with the ship.

The small, overloaded fishing boat was caught in heavy seas and sent out a Mayday call. When the Irish coastguard ship LE subsequently approached the boat, several refugees apparently rushed to one side of the boat, causing it to capsize.

“It was a horrific sight,” said Juan Matias, coordinator of Doctors without Borders who was on the ship Dignity I, which also came to the assistance of the refugees. “People desperately clutching life belts, boats and anything, fighting for their lives among the drowning and those who were already dead.”

Dignity I received the call from the coastguard just as it was saving 100 refugees from another fishing boat that was in difficulty. “The fact that we were first called to assist this boat and then shortly afterwards sent to another one highlights the severe lack of resources available for rescue operations,” said Matias.

Wednesday’s tragedy was the first such mass drowning since 1,200 refugees lost their lives in a series of boat sinkings in April, prompting the EU to step up patrols on the Mediterranean and threaten air strikes against refugee boats before they left the Libyan coast.

Some 224,000 refugees have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe this year, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced Thursday. Italy has registered 97,000 boat refugees and Greece 91,000. One in three refugees traveling by boat comes from Syria, with other main countries of origin including Afghanistan, Eritrea, Somalia and Nigeria.

The death toll among those people desperately trying to reach Europe is shocking. On Tuesday, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) stated in Geneva that more than 2,000 refugees have lost their lives trying to reach Europe since the beginning of the year.

According to IOM, these figures confirm that “the route across the Mediterranean is the most deadly for migrants,” a development which has intensified over the last six months. In 2014, the attempt to seek protection in Europe from persecution and poverty cost 3,279 refugees their lives.

“It is unacceptable that in the 21st century people fleeing from conflict, persecution, misery and land degradation must endure such terrible experiences in their home countries, not to mention en route, and then die on Europe’s doorstep,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.

Terrible incidents take place almost daily on the main route across the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy. On July 29, 14 refugees arrived dead in the Sicilian port of Messina, on a ship with 456 survivors. On August 1, a rescue ship from Doctors without Borders discovered five bodies on board a boat transporting 120 refugees.

The loss of life in the Mediterranean is not merely a tragic event, but a crime. The imperialist powers in Europe and the United States bear responsibility for the mass deaths of refugees at sea.

The number of refugees has dramatically increased over the past three years, according to calculations by the UN agency for refugees. Almost 60 million people were on the move in 2014, 40 percent more than in 2011.

The Syrian civil war, which was triggered by the United States and its Arab allies in 2011, and is still raging, has driven more than 3.5 million people over the border. An additional 7.5 million people within Syria have fled their homes.

The NATO-led war against the Gaddafi regime in Libya, which began almost simultaneously, turned more than 1 million people into refugees. A further 500,000 refugees from Syria, Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia are marooned on the Libyan coast, which is now under the control of rival militias, desperately hoping for a place on a boat to Europe.

Hundreds of thousands were forced from their homes as a result of the imperialist wars and subsequent famine crises in the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia). The US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have had disastrous consequences for the populations of both countries. In Yemen, the US-aligned Saudi Arabian regime’s bombing raids on the country, using US supplied weapons, together with Washington’s drone war, have forced countless people to flee.

In addition, there are numerous Palestinian refugees who lost their livelihoods in the Israeli war in the Gaza Strip and are effectively imprisoned by the closure of the border by the Israeli government, on one side, and the Egyptian military dictatorship on the other.

In western and central Africa, it is above all the neo-colonial policies of the European powers that have forced thousands to flee from Mali, Mauritania, Central African Republic, Niger and Chad in the face of wars and the plundering of these countries by European companies.

The European Union has responded to this humanitarian catastrophe by pulling up the drawbridge and expanding fortress Europe. The deaths of refugees on the EU’s external borders are meant to serve as a deterrent.

In Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, and in the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, barriers several metres tall with razor-sharp spikes have been constructed to guard against refugees. In November 2013, the EU began the Eurosur programme for the surveillance of the Mediterranean with drones, satellites and reconnaissance aircraft.

Under pressure from the German government, the military mission conducted by the Italian government, which used warships to search for refugees throughout the Mediterranean, sending them back to Libya, was incorporated into Operation Triton, run by the EU border agency Frontex. The EU states cynically declared that the Italian mission, known as Mare Nostrum, had encouraged too many refugees to travel to Europe.

In response to the two tragedies in April this year, the EU sent additional warships to the Mediterranean. However, these ships were not primarily to focus on rescuing refugees from the sea, but to wage war against “smugglers” as part of the Eunavfor Med mission and destroy refugee boats. In addition, measures were agreed to accelerate the process of deporting refugees back to Africa and the crisis regions of the Middle East.

At the same time, the fight against the “root causes” of migration, proclaimed by the EU, has been revealed as an effort to arm dictatorial regimes in Africa so that they could more effectively prevent their populations from fleeing. The German television programme Monitor reported that Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan and Egypt have been integrated more closely into the EU border management system through the training of their soldiers.

British ship sent on Mediterranean migrant mission has not rescued a single person: here.

NATO war brought ISIS to Libya, Tunisia, Tunisian Prime Minister says

This video from London, England says about itself:

Jeremy Corbyn – Emergency Protest – Stop the Bombing of Libya Now! – Stop the War Coalition 20.03.11

From daily The Independent in Britain:

War on Isis: Tunisian PM says Britain has a responsibility to protect nation from militants

Exclusive: Habib Essid blames Western intervention for destabilising Libya

Yasmine Ryan, Ian Johnston

Wednesday 05 August 2015

Britain has a responsibility to stop Isis from infiltrating Tunisia, the country’s Prime Minister has said, because the UK is partly to blame for creating the violent chaos that allowed the extreme Islamist movement to flourish in neighbouring Libya.

In an interview with The Independent, Habib Essid blamed Western intervention in Libya, which helped bring about the downfall of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, for destabilising that country and leaving his nation more vulnerable to terrorism.

He spoke as British police said the attack in the Tunisian resort of Sousse in June that left 30 British tourists dead was almost certainly linked to a mass shooting at the Bardo Museum in Tunis in March.

Mr Essid said the UK and France, which led the air campaign against Gaddafi’s forces, were not solely to blame for the current turmoil in Libya, but they had been “part of the problem”. Asked if this meant Britain and France had a responsibility to help Tunisia police its border with Libya, he said: “They have responsibility. Terrorism has no borders.”

However Mr Essid stressed that Tunisia was “against all military intervention in Libya”. “We consider that the current situation is the result of the [2011] intervention, which created chaos. The solution must be a political solution,” he said. …

The Sousse and Bardo shootings, which killed a total of 60 people, have both been claimed by Isis. Commander Richard Walton, of the Metropolitan Police, said there were “strong” links between the two attacks.

See also here.

‘US meddling in Mid-East led to rise of radical extremism’: here.

Hillary Clinton’s Libya: here.

‘Jeremy Corbyn will be elected Labour leader’, British bookmakers say

This video from the British parliament in London, England says about itself:

Instead of bombing Libya, we need to end British support for despots, says Jeremy Corbyn MP

Speech given by Jeremy Corbyn MP in the House of Commons on 18 March 2011 when MPs debated western intervention in Libya.

By Luke James in Britain:

And Red Jez Takes the Lead

Thursday 30th July 2015

Corbyn is now bookies’ favourite as odds are slashed yet again on Islington MP and Unison joins leftwinger’s camp

JEREMY CORBYN made “political history” yesterday after being installed as Labour leadership frontrunner by Britain’s biggest bookies.

Completing a stunning turnaround from 100/1 outsider in May, Mr Corbyn was made favourite by Ladbrokes, William Hill and Paddy Power. And his promotion to pole position came as Unison, which represents 1.3 million public-sector workers, became the latest union to nominate Mr Corbyn. Bookmakers slashed his odds again after the results of a private Labour poll revealed the left candidate is 20 points ahead of his rivals.

It was the third poll in two weeks that shows the principled Islington North MP is on course to shock the political Establishment.

The results sparked another flurry of bets from political punters hoping to back a winner, bookies reported. William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams told the Star: “We have responded by slashing the price from 200/1 into 13/8 — which must be one of, if not the, biggest price cut in political betting history.” Mr Corbyn is set to scoop 42 per cent support in the first round of voting, according to the latest poll seen by the Mirror.

Yvette Cooper is on 22 per cent, Andy Burnham on 20 per cent and Liz Kendall on 18 per cent. The results echo findings from a separate private poll shown to the New Statesman and a YouGov survey of Labour members for the Times, which put him 17 points ahead in the first round.

Paddy Power made Mr Corbyn a 6/4 shot and revealed half of all stakes taken on the Labour leadership race in the past two weeks have been for Mr Corbyn. A spokesman said: “Some people may still be refusing to take Stormin’ Corbyn seriously, but the punters and the pollsters certainly are.”

Mr Burnham was clinging on to top spot with Coral yesterday, but the firm then shorted its odds on a Corbyn victory in response to the poll to 11/8. Coral said it was “on the brink” of making Mr Corbyn the favourite.

Coral’s John Hill said: “Andy Burnham has topped the betting for a good couple of months now, but the money behind him in the betting has dried up.”

Further momentum was given to Mr Corbyn’s campaign by a dozen new nominations from local Labour parties (CLPs).

Holborn and St Pancras, represented by Burnham-backing Keir Starmer, was among constituencies where a majority of members backed Mr Corbyn.

He now has 126 CLP nominations, compared to 104 for Mr Burnham, 89 for Ms Cooper and just 14 for Ms Kendall.

Paddy Power said Leicester West Ms Kendall was a “relative no-hoper” at 40/1.

JEREMY CORBYN will cost Britain’s bookmakers at least half a million pounds if he is elected Labour leader, the Morning Star can reveal. Industry insiders said Mr Corbyn made “political betting history” this week when the one-time 200/1 shot was made favourite: here.

However, if Labour Party members and supporters would indeed elect Mr Corbyn as leader, there are plans in the Tony Blairite right wing of the party to then immediately delete that voters’ democratic verdict by having the Labour members of parliament depose Corbyn. So, Corbyn supporters should not just vote. They should also be prepared to defend their vote against a coup.

LABOUR MPs have a “duty” to rally behind Jeremy Corbyn if he’s elected leader, the frontrunner for the deputy post Tom Watson said yesterday. Asked about the prospects for party discipline if the left candidate was elected, Mr Watson predicted he may face right-wing rebels: here.

Tunisian airline stops flights to Tripoli, Libya, in November 2011

This video says about itself:

Inside Story – The dangers facing female migrants in Libya

11 May 2015

In a report titled Libya Is Full of Cruelty, the rights group Amnesty International details the conditions for women in the war-torn North African country. Amnesty says they are constantly subjected to the added danger of sexual violence. Traffickers sexually abuse female migrants as they make their desperate and treacherous journey towards Europe.

Presenter: Richelle Carey Guests: Magda Mughrabi, Libya researcher for Amnesty International and author of the report. Soraya Chemaly, writer and media critic whose work is focused on sexualised violence. Anna Zobnina, chair of the European Network of Migrant Women.

November 2011: According to Tunisia Live, Tunisian airline Tunisair has stopped flying to Tripoli, Libya; as at that airport, 300 armed men had attacked one of its aircraft.

Libyan Amazigh demonstrate in Tripoli for second time in three days against exclusion from the new government: here.

Libyan women rally for rape victim support: here.

Tunisian ex-dictator Ben Ali’s Western friends: here.

Libyan Amazigh protest, November 2011

Amazigh languages

Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports:

Dozens of Amazigh -or Berbers– protested in Tripoli‘s Martyrs’ Square on Friday for being shut out of the new government and demanded that their language and rights be recognised in Libya.

Gaddafi’s Western allies: here.

Italian oil corporation ENI plans to increase its Libyan oil production: here.

Tunisian mass murderers from ‘new’ Libya

This video from the USA is called Hillary Clinton: USA created Al Qaeda.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Perpetrator of massacre in Tunisia was in training camp in Libya

Today, 17:23

The man who last week staged an attack in Tunisia on a tourist beach had been earlier this year in Libya in a training camp for jihad, along with the two men who earlier in Tunis committed an attack in the Bardo Museum. That says a senior Tunisian security officer.

The Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid still said on Saturday that the perpetrator had not been in view of the security services and had never left Tunisia. In the attack last Friday, 39 people were killed.

The perpetrator, who himself was killed by hotel security guards, left according to the security officer in January to Libya to attend jihad training. The two men who in March in broad daylight shot dead 22 people in the Bardo Museum in Tunis were there at the same time.

Thank you so much, on behalf of the surviving families of the murdered foreign tourists and Tunisians, thank you dear NATO, dear David Cameron, dear Nicolas Sarkozy, dear Silvio Berlusconi, etc. etc. for your bloody regime change war for oil ‘bringing democracy’ to a ‘brave new’ Libya … [sarcasm off]

Benghazi, where Libya’s uprising began, now a shattered city | Washington Times: here.

The Congressional harrying of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over emails concerning the 2012 death of an American Ambassador and three staff members in Benghazi, Libya, has become a sort of running joke, with Republicans claiming “cover-up” and Democrats dismissing the whole matter as nothing more than election year politics. But there is indeed a story embedded in the emails, one that is deeply damning of American and French actions in the Libyan civil war, from secretly funding the revolt against Muammar Gaddafi, to the willingness to use journalism as a cover for covert action: here.