• ’This is literally an industry’: drone images give rare look at for-profit #Ice detention centers

    Art project combines interviews with ex-detainees on their trauma during Covid-19, and imagery of the growth of private-run detention in the US

    “Imagine how it feels there, locked up, the whole day without catching the air, without … seeing the light, because that is a cave there, in there you go crazy; without being able to see my family, just being able to listen to them on a phone and be able to say, ‘OK, bye,’ because the calls are expensive.”

    That’s how Alejandro, an asylum seeker from Cuba, described his time in an #Immigration_and_Customs_Enforcement (Ice) detention center.

    His account is one of dozens captured in a collection of audio recordings as part of a project aiming to show how the US immigration detention system, the world’s largest, has commodified people as part of a for-profit industry.

    “We’ve commodified human displacement,” said artist David Taylor, who has used drones to take aerial photography and video of 28 privately run Ice detention centers near the US southern border, in California, #Arizona and #Texas.

    While accounts of abuse and exploitation from inside facilities appear in the news media, the detention centers are usually in isolated, underpopulated areas with access to photographers or film crews tightly controlled.

    This new image collection, taken from near the perimeters of the facilities, gives a rare look at just how many of these centers occupy the landscape. “What I want to show through the accumulation of imagery is that this is literally an industry,” Taylor said, “that it’s expansive, that it occupies a significant amount of territory in our national landscape – and I’m only showing a fraction of it.

    “That, to me, is an important realization. The scale is shocking; how it is changing the United States,” said Taylor, a professor of art at the University of Arizona.

    The imagery will ultimately be shown in an exhibition incorporating the stories of some of the people captured inside this system. These audio recordings come from a collaboration with Taylor and a group which provides free legal service to detained migrants in Arizona, the Florence Project, and writer Francisco Cantú.

    When the project is eventually presented in a gallery, it will also include data on the costs, profits and revenue of corporations involved. Late in the the Obama era, the Department of Justice (DoJ) discontinued all use of private prison corporations to house detainees, but the DoJ during the Trump administration reversed this policy.

    Between 2015 and 2018, as the administration began to ramp up its crackdown on immigrants, the targeted average daily population of detained immigrants grew 50%. Corporations won contracts from Ice worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Taylor said the project was fraught because he was taking artistic photos and video of sites where traumas have occurred, but hopes the final work will help people understand how those inside are being used to support an industry. The detainees’ vulnerability during the Covid-19 pandemic added to an urgency to spotlight the facilities, he said.

    Excerpts from some of the interviews follow. Each of the interviewees was given a pseudonym because their asylum cases are pending. Alejandro and Alonzo’s interviews were translated from Spanish.

    All three were held at facilities operated by CoreCivic, which disputes allegations about conditions and said it was committed to health and safety.
    ‘They are not interested in our lives’

    Alonzo – La Palma correctional center in Eloy, Arizona

    When Covid first struck the detention center, Alonzo said he helped organize strikes to protest the conditions inside which were exposing everyone, including the guards, to the illness.

    The 34-year-old said he was refused access to a Covid test even though he was feeling unwell. A month later, he said he was taken to the hospital because he was having such trouble breathing and his skin was turning black. “The truth is that you need to be dying there so that they can take care of you, what they do with you there is lousy, lousy, lousy. They are not interested in our lives in the least.”

    In a hospital emergency room, a doctor told Alonzo he had blood clots and probably had cancer because they found tumors in his lungs and kidneys.

    “When they give me this news, they tell me that they have to return me to La Palma correctional center and put me in a cell. I spent a day and a half locked up without being able to get out at all. On that day they gave me half an hour to bathe, let my family know what was happening to me, and locked me up again.

    “During this time that I was there, there were many people. We stood up to be treated, there were colleagues who collapsed inside the tank, people who convulsed. We prayed because the nurses who treated us, the nurses came and told us, ‘You have nothing, it’s a simple flu,’ and nothing happens.”

    Alonzo described witnessing many suicide attempts. He said he found strength in his wish to see his daughters again and his belief in God. “I always had something in my mind and in my heart, that God did not save me from Mexico to come to die in a forgotten cell. I knew within myself that I was not going to die there.”

    He said the strikes came about as conditions worsened. “One day we all got organized and got together to talk. ‘You know what, brother? There is no Cuban here, there is no Mexican here, there is no Indian here, there is no Venezuelan here, there is no Nicaraguan here, there is nothing. Here we are all here. Because we are all infected, because we are all dying. This is fighting for our existence, it is no longer fighting for a residence, it is no longer fighting for a parole, it is no longer fighting for bail, it is all fighting to get out of here alive.’”
    ‘They told me I had Covid-19. They never gave me treatment’

    Alejandro – Central Arizona Florence correctional center

    Alejandro approached a border checkpoint to seek asylum after three months of waiting in Mexico, seeking refuge from political persecution in his native Cuba. At the border, his pregnant wife was allowed to stay with a relative in the US, while Alejandro, 19, was detained.

    During his three months in detention, he was told he tested positive for Covid-19, which he was skeptical of because he didn’t have symptoms and was asthmatic. He said he was put in solitary confinement because of the test result, then transferred to a civil jail, where he said conditions were worse.

    The most painful part of all, however, was missing the birth of his son after his wife underwent a difficult pregnancy.
    Joe Biden reverses anti-immigrant Trump policies hours after swearing-in
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    “Imagine, it broke my heart, I could hardly speak. Every time I spoke to my wife, or listened to the child, a lump would form in my throat that I could not swallow. It was a thing that does not let you swallow, that makes your chest constrict from so much suffering, from so much pain … If you are a parent, you know what I am telling you … The words did not come out from so much suffering … I spoke a few words and cried. She could hardly speak. Sometimes it was better not to call, because if I called I would feel worse than not calling.”

    Alejandro said he cried every day in detention and was treated by a psychologist in a five-minute “speed date” appointment. “She asked me, ‘Hi, I understand you have a boy, how are you feeling?’ I told her I felt bad, how else was I going to feel? She said, ‘you need to read, to relax,’ just that. Nonsense, something quick. They told me I had Covid-19 and they never gave me any treatment, just water. They told me, ‘Drink water, lots of water.’”
    Responses from #CoreCivic and Ice

    A CoreCivic company spokesman, Ryan Gustin, denied the allegations Alejandro and Alonzo made about conditions in their facilities. “We have responded to this unprecedented situation appropriately, thoroughly and with care for the safety and wellbeing of those entrusted to us and our communities,” Gustin said. “We don’t cut corners on care, staff or training, which meets, and in many cases exceeds, our government partners’ standards.”

    CoreCivic said all detainees were supplied with face masks and denied any allegations that detainees were refused Covid tests. “Initially, detainees were asked to sign an acknowledgment form related to the use of the masks.” The spokesman said detainees were not placed in solitary confinement because of a positive test; he said there were “cohorting procedures … which are intended to prevent the spread of infection” which involve no loss of privileges or activities. CoreCivic denied claims of multiple suicide attempts saying “any such incident would be reported to our government partner”.

    Ice, which oversees the facilities, said the agency was “firmly dedicated to the health and safety of all individuals in our custody”.

    “Since the outbreak of Covid-19, Ice has taken extensive steps to safeguard all detainees, staff and contractors, including: reducing the number of detainees in custody by placing individuals on alternatives to detention programs, suspending social visitation, incorporating social distancing practices with staggered meals and recreation times, and through the use of testing, cohorting and medical isolation.”
    ‘Let me go back home and face my death’

    Mary – in Central Arizona Florence correctional complex one night, then Eloy detention center

    Mary was first detained in Mexico, where she arrived after traveling from her home in Uganda. She was eventually released, sought asylum in the US at a border checkpoint and was detained for five and a half months.

    Detention conditions were similar in the two countries, she said, except Mexican guards occasionally held days where people could socialize with family or friends who were also detained.

    The isolation Mary experienced in the US was intense. She didn’t speak to her young children in Africa the whole time because she couldn’t afford the costs of the calls and relied on a volunteer to relay messages between the mother and her children.

    Also, because she doesn’t speak Spanish, it was more difficult for her to make relationships with immigrants inside from mostly Spanish-speaking countries, and the schedules in the prison made it difficult to develop relationships with others.

    “The Cameroonians were there, but again, everybody used to feel sad, everybody used not to talk. It was like that, since you were sad all the time, you could not communicate, you could not joke.”

    She, like many others, described how many people just wanted to be deported instead of waiting out their time in detention.

    “One day I thought that if the judge denies me, I’ll just tell her or him, ‘Let me go back home and face my death, because I never wanted to stay in detention more. I was thinking about that, but I could not again decide since I was afraid of getting back home.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/29/ice-immigration-detention-centers-drone-photography-rare-look-arizona
    #privatisation #complexe-militaro-industriel #business #asile #migrations #réfugiés #centres #centres_de_détention #détention_administrative #rétention #industrie #photographie #USA #Etats-Unis #enfermement #Californie

    ping @isskein

  • L’ASGI demande à la #Cour_des_comptes italienne l’ouverture d’une #enquête sur l’utilisation des #fonds_publics dans les #centres_de_détention en Libye

    L’ASGI a déposé une #plainte auprès de la Cour des comptes à Rome, soulignant plusieurs profils critiques liés aux activités menées par certaines ONG italiennes en Libye avec des fonds de l’#Agence_italienne_pour_la_coopération_au_développement (AICS).

    La plainte est basée sur le rapport « Profils critiques des activités des ONG italiennes dans les centres de détention en Libye avec des fonds de l’AICS » (https://sciabacaoruka.asgi.it/en/italian-ngos-activities-in-libyan-detention-centres), publié le 15 juillet 2020, dans lequel l’ASGI analyse une série de documents obtenus du ministère des affaires étrangères et de l’AICS suite à des demandes d’accès civique. La plainte porte à l’attention de la Cour des comptes de nombreux profils critiques dans la conception et la mise en œuvre des actions au sein des centres de détention en Libye, en partie déjà mis en évidence dans le rapport.

    La plainte affirme que dans certains centres, les ONG italiennes semblent avoir effectué des activités au profit de l’entretien des locaux de détention plutôt que des détenus, avec des activités visant à préserver leur solidité et leur efficacité. Par conséquent, ces interventions pourraient avoir contribué à renforcer la capacité du centre à accueillir, même à l’avenir, de nouveaux prisonniers dans des conditions désespérément inhumaines. En outre, bien que les centres libyens soient universellement reconnus comme des lieux de torture et de mortification de la dignité humaine, le gouvernement italien n’a pas conditionné la mise en œuvre de ces interventions à un engagement quelconque envers les autorités de Tripoli pour apporter une amélioration durable des conditions des étrangers y détenus.

    Dans la plainte l’ASGI souligne que la mise en œuvre d’interventions d’urgence en faveur de personnes détenues dans des conditions inhumaines sur ordre d’un gouvernement étranger ne semble pas relever de la promotion de la « coopération et du #développement » prévue par le statut de l’AICS.

    La plainte attire également l’attention de la Cour des comptes sur les doutes de l’ASGI quant à la destination réelle des biens et services fournis, compte tenue aussi de la décision du ministère des affaires étrangères d’interdire au personnel italien de se rendre en Libye. Le fait que la gestion de la plupart des centres de détention officiels soit menée par les milices, et l’approximation de la déclaration des dépenses encourues par certaines ONG dans leurs activités, ne semblent pas avoir conduit l’AICS à exercer un contrôle strict sur la dépense de fonds publics et sur ce qui est effectivement mis en œuvre par les partenaires libyens sur le terrain.

    Par cette plainte, l’ASGI demande donc à la Cour des comptes d’examiner si le comportement de l’AICS est conforme à ses objectifs statutaires et à ses obligations de veiller à la bonne utilisation des fonds publics, en déterminant les responsabilités éventuelles de l’Agence tant du point de vue d’un éventuel #préjudice_budgétaire que d’un éventuel préjudice à l’image du gouvernement italien.

    https://sciabacaoruka.asgi.it/fr/lasgi-demande-a-la-cour-des-comptes-italienne-louverture-dune-enq
    #justice #Italie #centres #camps #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés

  • Procès de la torture en Syrie : les dossiers "César" pour la première fois devant une cour
    https://www.justiceinfo.net/fr/tribunaux/tribunaux-nationaux/45961-proces-torture-syrie-dossiers-cesar-premiere-devant-cour.html

    La semaine dernière à Coblence, le célèbre dossier « César » a été présenté comme élément de preuve devant un tribunal, pour la première fois. Un expert médico-légal a témoigné dans le procès Al-Khatib, qui a analysé les cadavres photographiés sur plus de 50 000 clichés. Sa conclusion : la torture et les meurtres étaient systématiques dans tous les centres de détention des services de renseignement.

    « Compression de la gorge », « état nutritionnel affaibli », « blessures non compatibles avec le maintien en vie », les mots de l’expert médico-légal résonnent comme des abstractions. Mais les images ramènent à la réalité. Corps après corps, la projection s’enchaîne sur le mur de la salle d’audience. Certains sont minces comme des squelettes, d’autres ont des blessures ouvertes. Un corps est entièrement bleu, tandis que d’autres (...)

    #Tribunaux_nationaux

    • Στήνει « Γκουαντάναμο » παντού με αφορμή τον κορονοϊό

      Η είδηση της διάγνωσης Σομαλού πρόσφυγα στη Μόρια με Covid-19 έδωσε την ευκαιρία στον Νότη Μηταράκη να επαναφέρει την πρόταση για μετατροπή όλων των ΚΥΤ σε κλειστές φυλακές με 24ωρη παρακολούθηση, διπλή περίφραξη και έλεγχο αποσκευών στα πρότυπα των αεροδρομίων ● Χωρίς γιατρούς παραμένουν οι προσφυγικές δομές Λέσβου και Χίου.

      Ετοιμος να εκμεταλλευτεί πολιτικά την ύπαρξη ακόμη και ενός θετικού δείγματος κορονοϊού σε πρόσφυγα που διαμένει στη δομή της Μόριας, προκειμένου να προωθήσει τα σχέδια μετατροπής των ΚΥΤ σε φυλακές, αποδείχθηκε ο υπουργός Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου.

      Θετικός βρέθηκε άνδρας από τη Σομαλία στο Κέντρο Υποδοχής και Ταυτοποίησης της Μόριας και τέθηκε σε καραντίνα ολόκληρο το ΚΥΤ των 13.000 ανθρώπων. Ο Σομαλός είχε λάβει άσυλο στις 17 Ιουλίου, οπότε και αναχώρησε για την Αθήνα. Ομως, χωρίς καμία μέριμνα ή υποστήριξη για τη στέγασή του σε ασφαλή χώρο, επέλεξε να επιστρέψει στη « ζούγκλα » της Μόριας στις 27 Αυγούστου, μεταφέροντας πλέον την πανδημία εντός του καταυλισμού και κάνοντας τον εφιάλτη πραγματικότητα.

      Ευνοημένος από τη συγκυρία, ο υπουργός Νότης Μηταράκης θεώρησε ευκαιρία το γεγονός για να επαναφέρει την πρόταση μετατροπής των ΚΥΤ σε κλειστές δομές-φυλακές, παρουσιάζοντας ως πρότυπο τα σχέδια για την ανέγερση της δομής της Σάμου που εισάγει αλλά και επισημοποιεί την οργουελιανή εκδοχή στη μεταναστευτική πολιτική της Ελλάδας.

      Τα ΚΥΤ, σύμφωνα με όσα παρουσίασε ο υπουργός σε σύσκεψη με τους επικεφαλής των δημοτικών παρατάξεων στη Χίο με θέμα το μέλλον της ΒΙΑΛ, αποκτούν διπλή περίφραξη με νεκρή ζώνη πλάτους έξι μέτρων, ελεγχόμενη είσοδο-έξοδο με κάρτα και δακτυλικά αποτυπώματα, πανοπτικό σύστημα παρακολούθησης με κάμερες όλο το 24ωρο, σύστημα ελέγχου αποσκευών όπως στα αεροδρόμια και φυσικά μια « μαύρη τρύπα » δικαιωμάτων που ονομάζεται ΠΡΟΚΕΚΑ και μέσα του θα χάνονται όσοι/ες κριθούν ότι δεν τηρούν τα κριτήρια παροχής ασύλου, με αόριστο τον χρόνο κράτησης. Γενικότερα, θα έλεγε κανείς ότι οι αιτούντες άσυλο σε αυτά τα κέντρα-φυλακές αντιμετωπίζονται προκαταβολικά ως ύποπτοι τέλεσης σοβαρών αδικημάτων και ως κρατούμενοι που στερούνται τα βασικά τους δικαιώματα.
      Το κρούσμα στη Μόρια

      Ο 40χρονος πρόσφυγας βρέθηκε θετικός έπειτα από τεστ στο Νοσοκομείο Μυτιλήνης, όπου οδηγήθηκε με συμπτώματα και παραμένει νοσηλευόμενος, την ώρα που στον ΕΟΔΥ έχει χτυπήσει « κόκκινος » συναγερμός, έχοντας ως μοναδικό όπλο άμυνας τα αυστηρά μέτρα περιορισμού της κυκλοφορίας, αλλά ουσιαστικό αντίπαλο την αδυναμία εφαρμογής των υγειονομικών κανόνων λόγω των άθλιων συνθηκών διαβίωσης, αλλά και την ανυπαρξία γιατρών και νοσηλευτικού προσωπικού τόσο στη Μόρια όσο και στη ΒΙΑΛ της Χίου, που επίσης έχει τεθεί εδώ και εβδομάδες σε αυστηρή καραντίνα.

      Χαρακτηριστικό είναι ότι τόσο η δομή υγείας -δωρεά της ολλανδικής κυβέρνησης, που εγκαινιάστηκε πρόσφατα με τη παρουσία της ΠτΔ κ. Αικατερίνης Σακελλαροπούλου- όσο και τα ιατρεία της Περιφέρειας στα ΚΥΤ των δύο νησιών παραμένουν χωρίς γιατρούς. Η νέα δομή ακόμη δεν έχει λειτουργήσει καθόλου, ενώ οι συμβάσεις των υπηρετούντων ιατρών με την Περιφέρεια Βορείου Αιγαίου έληξαν και η σχετική προκήρυξη, που έληξε προ ολίγων ημερών, απέβη άγονη. Το ίδιο αναμένεται και γι’ αυτήν που λήγει αύριο, παρά τις αυξημένες αποδοχές που προβλέπει για το επιστημονικό προσωπικό οι οποίες φτάνουν τις 2.500 ευρώ μηνιαίως.

      Από το υπουργείο Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου, ωστόσο, εκφράζουν την αισιοδοξία τους ότι σύντομα η δομή της ολλανδικής κυβέρνησης στη Μόρια θα είναι σε θέση να λειτουργήσει. Σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες, πρόθεση του υπουργείου είναι να θέσει τη δομή σε λειτουργία σε συνεργασία με κάποιες ΜΚΟ υγειονομικού χαρακτήρα που ήδη λειτουργούν εντός του ΚΥΤ. Ομως το πρόβλημα των άθλιων συνθηκών διαβίωσης, της ανυπαρξίας χώρων υγιεινής, της υπερσυγκέντρωσης ανθρώπων σε ουρές και όλα αυτά που δημιουργεί το πλήθος των 13.000 ανθρώπων σε χώρους με προδιαγραφές για 3.100 παραμένει και εκεί ουσιαστική απάντηση δεν υπάρχει.

      Η μόνη απάντηση που δίνει το υπουργείο είναι για ακόμη μία φορά η προσπάθεια εκμετάλλευσης των συνθηκών ώστε να προωθήσει τα σχέδια για μετατροπή των δομών της ΒΙΑΛ και της Μόριας σε « κλειστές ». « Το ΚΥΤ Μόριας παραμένει ανοιχτή δομή και το περιστατικό αυτό ενισχύει την ανάγκη να υλοποιηθούν οι εργασίες δημιουργίας κλειστής ελεγχόμενης δομής. Για το χρονικό διάστημα έως και τις 15/09/2020 θα απαγορεύεται ρητά η είσοδος και η έξοδος από τη δομή φιλοξενίας, ενώ η ΕΛ.ΑΣ. θα έχει ενισχυμένη παρουσία στον χώρο γύρω από τη δομή, για την τήρηση της απαγόρευσης της κυκλοφορίας καθ’ όλο το 24ωρο », αναφέρει χαρακτηριστικά σε δελτίο Τύπου, περιγράφοντας τις προθέσεις του.
      Σε εφαρμογή το σχέδιο Μηταράκη

      Το σχέδιο αυτό, που περιλαμβάνει και τη ΒΙΑΛ, ουσιαστικά έχει τεθεί σε εφαρμογή εδώ και μήνες, αλλά τις τελευταίες ημέρες μπήκε σε μια νέα φάση. Το προανήγγειλε ο κ. Μηταράκης πριν από δύο μέρες με αναρτήσεις του στον προσωπικό του λογαριασμό σε γνωστό μέσο κοινωνικής δικτύωσης, όπου σημείωνε τα εξής : « Ζητούμενο η ασφάλεια των δομών φιλοξενίας αιτούντων άσυλο. Ξεκινάμε τη μετατροπή των δομών σε κλειστών/ελεγχόμενων προς όφελος και των διαμενόντων και των τοπικών κοινωνιών ».

      Πρόθυμους συμμάχους σ’ αυτό το σχέδιο όσον αφορά τη Χίο, που μαζί με τη Λέσβο παραμένουν το αγκάθι στον σχεδιασμό (ενώ οι νέες δομές σε Λέρο, Κω και Σάμο προχωρούν κανονικά), βρήκε στην τοπική κοινότητα Χαλκειούς που υπό το βάρος της γειτονίας με την υπερπλήρη ΒΙΑΛ ασφυκτιά ψάχνοντας απεγνωσμένα για λύτρωση. Ετσι, με αίτηση προς το δημοτικό συμβούλιο Χίου, ο άλλος πρόθυμος σύμμαχος Μηταράκη, η δημοτική αρχή Κάρμαντζη, άδραξε την ευκαιρία και την έκανε αποδεκτή, απευθύνοντας τη σχετική πρόσκληση και στον υπουργό, που επίσης τη δέχτηκε άμεσα.

      Στόχος, να θέσει και πάλι το εκβιαστικό δίλημμα « ή νέος χώρος ή ΒΙΑΛ » ώστε να εισπράξει την άρνηση των επικεφαλής των παρατάξεων και να προχωρήσει το σχέδιο μετατροπής του ΚΥΤ σε ημίκλειστη φυλακή αλλά και ταυτόχρονα μονιμοποιώντας την, παρουσιάζοντας το αποτέλεσμα ως επιλογή του Δ.Σ. Χίου και ειδικά της μειοψηφίας. Τακτική που έχει δοκιμαστεί και στη Λέσβο για τη Μόρια, με τα πρώτα αποτελέσματα να είναι ήδη ορατά, αφού πρόσφατα εξασφαλίστηκαν επιπλέον 40 στρέμματα για την επέκτασή της.

      Αξίζει να σημειωθεί ότι από τις επτά παρατάξεις στο Δ.Σ. Χίου, το « παρών » έδωσαν οι πέντε, με τον Μάρκο Σκούφαλο από τη Λαϊκή Συσπείρωση και τον Μανόλη Στάθη από τον ΣΥΡΙΖΑ να αρνούνται την παρουσία τους καταγγέλλοντας τα σχέδια Μηταράκη. Οι υπόλοιποι (Κ. Τριαντάφυλλος, Μαν. Βουρνούς, Γ. Καραβασίλης και Δ. Αντώνογλου) επέμεναν στην εφαρμογή των ομόφωνων αποφάσεων του Δ.Σ. περί αποσυμφόρησης και κλεισίματος της ΒΙΑΛ και δημιουργίας δομής Καταγραφής και Ταυτοποίησης έως 500 ατόμων.

      Αντίθετα, ανοιχτός στην επανεξέταση του θέματος εμφανίστηκε ο δήμαρχος Στ. Κάρμαντζης που σημειωτέον δεν έθιξε καθόλου το θέμα της ακραίας βίας που άσκησαν στη Χίο τα ΜΑΤ κατά την επεισοδιακή τους παρουσία τον περασμένο Φεβρουάριο. Ζήτημα που έθεσαν κατά κόρον οι υπόλοιποι στη σύσκεψη καθώς και πολλά ακόμη θέματα, όπως η κατάρρευση της κοινής δήλωσης Ε.Ε. - Τουρκίας, το ζήτημα της 18μηνης εκκρεμοδικίας της αγωγής του Δήμου Χίου για την έξωση του υπουργείου από τη ΒΙΑΛ, ενώ ο Δ. Αντώνογλου εκ μέρους της Χιακής Συμπολιτείας έθεσε και το θέμα των παράνομων επαναπροωθήσεων προσφύγων.

      Τέλος, να σημειωθεί και η αποχώρηση του κ. Τριαντάφυλλου και του κ. Καραβασίλη σε κλίμα έντασης με τον κ. Μηταράκη.

      https://www.efsyn.gr/politiki/258178_stinei-gkoyantanamo-pantoy-me-aformi-ton-koronoio

      –—

      Traduction de Vicky Skoumbi via la mailing-list Migreurop :

      Le gouvernement grec a l’intention de ‘profiter’ de l’effet médiatique du premier patient de Covid au camp de #Moria pour transformer le #RIC de Moria à une sorte de Guantanamo, écrit le quotidien grec Efimerida tôn Syntaktôn :

      « Le Ministre de l’Immigration Notis Mitarakis y voit une opportunité de promouvoir la transformation de Centres de réception et Identification en structures pénitentiaires fermées, en imposant comme modèle les plans de la structure de Samos en cours de construction. Si on se fie aux déclarations du ministre lors de sa rencontre avec les chefs des factions municipales de Chios sur l’avenir de hot-spot de VIAL, les hot-spots auront une double clôture avec une zone morte de six mètres de large, toute entrée et sortie seront contrôlées avec carte et empreintes digitales, l’ensemble du camp sera sous surveillance par une système panoramique de caméras 24h / 24, il y aura même un système de contrôle des bagages équivalent à celui des aéroports et, bien sûr le « trou noir de droits » appelé PROKEKA [les centres de détention fermés avant renvoi] où seront détenus pour un laps de temps indéterminé ceux qui ne remplissent pas les conditions d’obtention d’asile. Plus généralement on pourrait dire que les demandeurs d’asile dans ces centres pénitentiaires seront traités à l’avance comme des suspects de crimes graves et comme des détenus privés de leurs droits fondamentaux. »

      Le comble de l’affaire dans cette opération d’instrumentalisation d’un cas de Covid à l’Oliveraie de Moria est le fait que le patient est un réfugiés reconnu comme tel qui avait été obligé de retourner d’Athènes où il arrivait pas à vivre faute de moyens de subsistance et de logement à l’Oliveraie. Bref il n’était qu’une énième victime de la politique gouvernementale qui prive les réfugiés de tout moyen de subsistance juste un mois après l’obtention de l’asile (Voir aussi l’article de Libération )

      En effet les déclarations du Ministre de l’Immigration Mytarakis font d’autant plus froid dans le dos que 800.000 euros seront destinés à l’installation de clôtures tandis que le seul dispensaire du camp habilité à traiter de cas Covid reste fermé faute de personnel (voir EfSyn en grec). Qui plus est il y a déjà en cours un appel d’offre pour la location pour cinq ans de champs qui entourent le camp de Moria pour l’extension de celui-ci, même au-delà du camp informel de l’Oliveraie (voir stonisi.gr ).

      L’instrumentalisation de la peur que suscite la propagation du virus – avec 111 cas dans la population locale et cinq morts depuis le 12 août à Lesbos- va de pair avec l’annonce quasi-explicite de refoulements illégaux par des membres du gouvernement. Le 2 septembre, lors d’une conférence de presse, Mr Plakiotakis, ministre de la Marine avait présenté comme un exploit le fait que les gardes côtes grecques ont dissuadé-empêché 3000 personnes d’atteindre les côtes grecques pendant le seul mois d’août. Aux questions insistantes de journalistes qui voudraient savoir par quels moyens ont eu lieu ces opérations de dissuasion, le ministre a répondu par de faux-fuyants : « « Nos officiers opèrent toujours sur la base de la légalité, ils défendent les frontières maritimes de notre patrie, mais en respectant la vie humaine en mer. Il y a une réticence de la part de la Turquie à coopérer, elle ne respecte pas les termes fondamentaux de l’accord avec l’UE » avait-il dit. pour l’immigration " ( voir EfSyn en grec). Bref le gouvernement grec en est arrivé au point de se vanter –ne serait-ce qu’à mi- mots, de refoulements illégaux.

      #Lesbos

    • Refugee Covid case sparks ’closed camps’ fears on Lesbos

      Greek government suggests need for ‘closed and controlled’ structures but NGOs fear virus is pretext for increased restrictions.

      The first recorded coronavirus case in Moria refugee camp on Lesbos, where just under 13,000 people are living in a space designed for 3,000, has led to fears that the government will use the pandemic as a pretext to create closed camps.

      https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/sep/04/refugee-covid-case-sparks-closed-camps-fears-on-lesbos

      #paywall

    • Les travaux de transformation de #hotspots en #centres_de_détention_fermés et contrôlés avancent à grand pas à #Lesbos et à #Chios. Le ministre Mitarakis a déjà signé à cette fin de contrats avec deux entreprises de construction qui se chargent d’y installer une double #clôture et de portiques de sécurité aux deux camps.

      (commentaire de Vicky Skoumbi via la mailing-list Migreurop, le 06.09.2020)

      Ci-dessous des extraits d’un article publié le 4 septembre au quotidien grec Efimérida tôn Syntaktôn (https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/koinonia/258311_prota-synapse-symbaseis-kai-meta-ekane-dialogo) :

      Πρώτα σύναψε συμβάσεις και μετά έκανε « διάλογο »

      Le ministre de l’Immigration et de l’Asile Notis Mitarakis a déjà signé un accord avec les entreprises de construction TERNA et AKTOR pour les projets de conversion de hot-spots à Chios et à Lesbos en prisons pour réfugiés.

      Mettant en œuvre les décisions antérieures du gouvernement M. Mitarakis immédiatement après la réunion à la mairie de Chios a signé les contrats avec « TERNA » et « AKTOR », pour les travaux d’installation d’une double clôture autour du came VIAL et de celui de Moria, respectivement, qui transforment les RIC en prisons pour les demandeurs d’asile avec entrée et sortie contrôlées.

      Suivant la méthode d’affectation directe sans appel d’offre préalable, le ministère, pour le montant de 1 031 398 euros et avec un horizon temporel de deux mois, invite "TERNA Construction SA". à entreprendre le projet « Travaux préparatoires à la clôture et au nettoyage d’un stade sur l’île de Chios ».

      Publiée sur le site diavgeia.gov (Transparence), la lettre de garantie déposée par "TERNA d’un montant de 41 600 euros, a été émise depuis le 26/8, ce qui montre que tout a été décidé d’avance et le dialogue après-coup avec la société locale n’a été qu’une manœuvre de communication.

      Cependant, la question de la légalité des travaux demeure entière, puisque, comme on le sait, le camp de VIAL est sur un site qu’est la propriété de la municipalité de Chios, qui a fait appel auprès des tribunaux en déposant une action en évacuation contre le ministère et en demandant la restitution de l’espace, le contrat de concession correspondant ayant expiré depuis 20 mois. L’affaire est en attente de jugement depuis 18 mois maintenant et personne n’est en mesure de dire quand la procédure relative sera fixée.

      Il est à noter également que le contrat de concession entre la Commune de Chios et VIAL a été signé en 2015 sous la pression d’une situation urgente, mais, cinq ans plus tard personne ne peut prétendre que le besoin d’un site pour le RIC relève toujours d’une urgence et ne pouvait pas être prévu d’avance.

      Une décision similaire a été signée par le ministre de l’Immigration et de l’Asile, avec l’entreprise de construction "AKTOR", pour que celle-ci installe une double clôture autour du hot-spot de Moria Là, le coût a été fixé à 854 390,86 euros TTC et le contrat a été signé le mercredi 2 septembre. Respectivement, là aussi, la lettre de garantie bancaire d’un montant de 34 600 euros a été émise le 7 juillet, soit il y a presque deux mois !

      Reste à voir les réactions des communautés locales et en particulier de la commune de Chalkeia à Chios et de celle de Moria à Lesbos, qui depuis cinq ans ne cessent de manifester leur opposition à l’installation de RIC à la proximité de leur village.

      https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/koinonia/258311_prota-synapse-symbaseis-kai-meta-ekane-dialogo

    • 2000 personnes qui auraient être en contact avec le réfugié somalien porteur du virus à l’ Oliveraie de Moria ;
      A ce jour nous avons le résultat de 1.600 tests de dépistage et pour 17 personnes les résultats ont été positifs
      voir en grec https://www.stonisi.gr/post/11213/17-kroysmata-koronoioy-sth-moria-realtime
      17 cas cela ne serait pas dramatique dans des conditions normales, mais avec le surpeuplement, la quasi-inexistence d’infrastructures sanitaires surtout à la partie informel du camp, l’Oliveraie, c’est extrêmement inquiétant, d’autant plus que rien n’est prévu pour l’instant pour la mise en quarantaine de porteur et la prise en charge de malades, d’autant plus que l’hôpital de Mytilène est déjà débordé par la recrudescence de cas dans la population locale, suite aux cérémonies religieuses du 15 août
      Et l’unité de soins Covid de Moria inaugurée en grande pompe par la Présidente de la République il y a une dizaine de jours n’est toujours pas fonctionnelle.

      Message de Vicky Skoumbi via la mailing-list Migreurop, le 07.09.2020

  • Profili critici delle attività delle ONG italiane nei centri di detenzione in Libia con fondi A.I.C.S.


    https://sciabacaoruka.asgi.it/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Profili-critici-delle-attivita%CC%80-delle-ONG-italiane-nei-centr

    Résumé du rapport en anglais :
    https://sciabacaoruka.asgi.it/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/ENG-executive-summary.pdf

    –----

    Commentaire sur le site de Melting Pot :

    Profili critici delle attività delle ONG italiane nei centri di detenzione in Libia con fondi #AICS. ASGI presenta il rapporto sugli interventi finanziati dall’#Agenzia_Italiana_per_la_Cooperazione_e_lo_Sviluppo nei centri di detenzione libici

    Tra queste troviamo: #Emergenza_Sorrisi, #Helpcode (già #CCS), #CEFA, #CESVI, #Terre_des_Hommes_Italia, #Fondation_Suisse_de_Deminage, #GVC (già #We_World), #Istituto_di_Cooperazione_Universitaria, #Consorzio_Italiano_Rifugiati (#CIR), #Fondazione_Albero_della_Vita.
    I progetti, alcuni dei quali sono ancora in corso di realizzazione, sono stati finanziati con 6 milioni di euro dall’Agenzia Italiana per la Cooperazione e lo Sviluppo (AICS).

    L’iniziativa ha suscitato, sin dall’emanazione del primo bando a novembre 2017 molto scalpore nell’opinione pubblica, sia perché il sistema di detenzione per migranti in Libia è caratterizzato da gravissimi e sistematici abusi (“è troppo compromesso per essere aggiustato”, aveva detto il Commissario ONU per i diritti umani) sia per la vicinanza temporale con gli accordi Italia-Libia del febbraio 2017. I centri di detenzione libici infatti, soprattutto quelli ubicati nei dintorni di Tripoli che sono destinatari della maggior parte degli interventi italiani, sono destinati ad ospitare anche migranti intercettati in mare dalla Guardia Costiera Libica, a cui l’Italia ha fornito e tuttora fornisce un decisivo appoggio economico, politico e operativo.

    Il rapporto si interroga quindi sulle conseguenze giuridiche degli interventi attuati, a spese del contribuente italiano, nei centri di detenzione libici.

    Anzitutto, si mette in discussione la logica stessa dell’intervento ideato dall’AICS, mostrando come in larga misura le condizioni disumane nei centri, che i Bandi mirano in parte a migliorare, dipendano da precise scelte del governo di Tripoli (politiche oltremodo repressive dell’immigrazione clandestina, gestione affidata a milizie, assenza di controlli sugli abusi, ubicazione in strutture fatiscenti, mancata volontà di spesa, ecc.). I Bandi non condizionano l’erogazione delle prestazioni ad alcun impegno da parte del governo libico a rimediare a tali criticità, rendendo così l’intervento italiano inefficace e non sostenibile nel tempo.

    In secondo luogo, il rapporto osserva come nei centri nei pressi di Tripoli le ONG italiane svolgano un’attività strutturale, che si sostituisce in parte alle responsabilità di gestione quotidiana dei centri che spetterebbe al governo libico. Inoltre, alcuni interventi non sono a beneficio dei detenuti ma della struttura detentiva, preservandone la solidità strutturale e la sua capacità di ospitare, anche in futuro, nuovi prigionieri.

    In terzo luogo, alcuni interventi sono volti a mantenere in efficienza infrastrutture anche costrittive, come cancelli e recinzioni, cosicché potrebbe profilarsi un contributo al mantenimento di detenuti nella disponibilità di soggetti notoriamente coinvolti in gravissime violazioni di diritti fondamentali.

    Infine, il rapporto si interroga sulla destinazione effettiva dei beni e dei servizi erogati. L’assenza di personale italiano sul campo e il fatto che i centri siano in gran parte gestiti da milizie indubbiamente ostacolano un controllo effettivo sulla destinazione dei beni acquistati. L’approssimativa rendicontazione da parte di alcune ONG delle spese sostenute sembra avvalorare il quadro di scarso o nullo controllo su quanto effettivamente attuato dagli implementing partner libici sul campo. Non può così escludersi che di almeno parte dei fondi abbiano beneficiato i gestori dei centri, ossia quelle stesse milizie che sono talora anche attori del conflitto armato sul territorio libico nonché autori delle già ricordate sevizie ai danni dei detenuti.

    Il rapporto conclude osservando che l’intervento italiano è direttamente funzionale alla strategia di contenimento dei flussi irregolari di migranti attraverso meccanismi per la loro intercettazione, trasferimento in Libia, detenzione e successiva rimozione dal territorio libico attraverso rimpatrio nel paese di origine o resettlement in Paesi terzi.

    Il rapporto, pur ponendo alcuni interrogativi cruciali, non fornisce un quadro esaustivo, in quanto l’AICS ha sempre negato l’accesso ad alcuni documenti-chiave, quali i testi dei progetti, necessari a comprendere appieno la situazione.

    https://www.meltingpot.org/Profili-critici-delle-attivita%CC%80-delle-ONG-italiane-nei.html

    #Libye #asile #migrations #centres_de_détention #détention #ONG #ONG_italiennes #rapport #aide_du_développement #développement #coopération_au_développement #financement

    –---

    Ajouté à la métaliste migrations et développement :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/733358

    • La realtà libica raccontata attraverso un rapporto sugli interventi finanziati da fondi AICS nei centri di detenzione

      Il rapporto presentato da ASGI nell’ambito del progetto Sciabaca e Oruka

      Il 15 luglio nell’ambito del progetto Sciabaca e Oruka è stato pubblicato dall’ASGI un interessante rapporto sugli interventi attuati da alcune ONG italiane nei centri di detenzione per stranieri in Libia.

      Il rapporto «Profili critici delle attività delle ONG italiane nei centri di detenzione in Libia con fondi A.I.C.S.» [1] rappresenta un’analisi critica sull’operato in Libia dei progetti di alcune ONG finanziate dal nostro Paese. Si tratta di un’analisi che evidenzia soprattutto le grandi contraddizioni che si celano dietro tali interventi, le enormi lacune e soprattutto le pesanti violazioni dei diritti umani da parte del governo di Tripoli.

      Si parla di progetti, alcuni dei quali ancora in corso, finanziati con 6 milioni di euro dall’Agenzia Italiana per la Cooperazione e lo Sviluppo (AICS). Progetti che non hanno sicuramente migliorato le condizioni dei tanti migranti detenuti presso i centri libici.

      In particolare, il rapporto osserva come “nei centri nei pressi di Tripoli le ONG italiane svolgano un’attività strutturale, che si sostituisce in parte alle responsabilità di gestione quotidiana dei centri che spetterebbe al governo libico”, ma purtroppo tale attività non serve a superare le mancanze del governo libico e a migliorare la condizione generale dei soggetti detenuti. Infatti, vi sono delle pre-condizioni che non permettono di cambiare lo stato delle cose neppure con gli interventi che arrivano attraverso questi progetti.

      A tale proposito, è significativo il contesto generale in cui si inseriscono i progetti presi in considerazione dal rapporto pubblicato da ASGI. Non va infatti dimenticato che in Libia la detenzione di cittadini stranieri nei centri è disposta da un’autorità amministrativa (il Ministero dell’Interno) e che tale decisione non è soggetta ad alcun vaglio da parte delle autorità giurisdizionali. La detenzione, poi, è disposta per un tempo indeterminato e si accompagna alla pratica dei lavori forzati.
      Ma non solo.

      Le autorità libiche, con la limitata eccezione di alcune nazionalità, non distinguono tra migranti irregolari e richiedenti asilo bisognosi di protezione internazionale e, in ultimo, non sono previsti meccanismi successivi di controllo sulla legalità della detenzione disposta. Un quadro molto chiaro che si pone in netta violazione dei più elementari principi di tutela dei diritti umani e in aperto contrasto con il diritto internazionale.

      In questo quadro generale, si inseriscono gli interventi finanziati dal Governo italiano con i Bandi che vengono specificamente analizzati nel rapporto in commento. E, la descrizione che ne viene data è, a dir poco, drammatica. Una situazione, quella nei centri libici, “non determinata dalla temporanea impossibilità di un governo in difficoltà nel fornire assistenza volta a salvare le vite delle persone più vulnerabili”.

      Infatti, le condizioni in cui sono detenute migliaia di cittadini stranieri in Libia sembrano essere dovute non da circostanze esterne indipendenti dalla volontà del governo libico ma da sue precise scelte in merito alla:
      – mancata erogazione di servizi di base (cibo, medicine, ecc.), a fronte di una non trascurabile capacità di spesa pubblica;
      – detenzione di un numero di persone eccessivo rispetto agli spazi disponibili;
      – ubicazione in strutture intrinsecamente inadeguate allo scopo;
      – detenzione di persone vulnerabili quali donne e bambini anche in assenza di garanzie ed appositi servizi loro dedicati;
      – detenzione di persone in modo arbitrario (per durata indefinita, senza alcuna procedura legale, controllo giurisdizionale, registrazione formale o possibilità di accesso ad un avvocato);
      – gestione solo nominale da parte del Ministero libico di molti centri, di fatto gestiti da milizie;
      – assenza di meccanismi di prevenzione o controllo sugli abusi commessi in tali centri.

      Nello specifico, il rapporto fa emergere una serie di contraddizioni che sono intrinseche alla situazione politica della Libia e rispetto alle quali gli aiuti economici e logistici approvati con gli accordi tra Libia ed Italia del 2017 nulla possono.

      La ragione di questi accordi allora è da rinvenire esclusivamente nella volontà di limitare l’afflusso di migranti verso il continente europeo, senza alcuna considerazione di quelle che sono le condizioni in cui versano coloro che vengono trattenuti nel paese libico.

      Come più volte sottolineato dai più attenti osservatori, assistiamo ad un fenomeno di “esternalizzazione” delle frontiere europee con l’aggravante che in questi nuovi territori ove si esercita il controllo si ha una vera e propria sospensione del diritto internazionale e continue violazioni dei diritti umani. Non interessa se chi viene trattenuto sia un richiedente asilo o possa essere iscritto ad una categoria protetta. Non vi è distinzione tra uomini, donne e bambini. Sono tutti semplicemente migranti destinati a vivere la stessa drammatica situazione di detenzione arbitraria e indefinita, di violenze e di torture.

      In più, dalla lettura del rapporto, viene in evidenza l’esistenza di un problema a monte che concerne le politiche migratorie europee che sono, purtroppo, finalizzare esclusivamente al contenimento dei flussi migratori. Si tratta di una impostazione del discorso da parte dei Paesi europei che influenza pesantemente le scelte legislative che vengono compiute e gli interventi concreti che vengono fatti. Una errata impostazione delle politiche migratorie che si aggiunge ai tanti problemi concreti presenti in Libia. Non possiamo infatti dimenticare che la Libia è un paese politicamente instabile, caratterizzato da un controllo del territorio da parte di milizie armate che estromettono lo Stato e si sostituiscono a questo. Milizie rispetto alle quali è impossibile intervenire da parte delle ONG che non possono neppure effettuare un controllo sull’utilizzo effettivo che viene fatto dei beni acquistati con il denaro pubblico.

      Stando così le cose, non stupisce lo stato dei centri di detenzione libici. Una situazione di grande precarietà, di sovraffollamento, di carenza di cibo, di carenze strutturali degli edifici utilizzati, di mancanza di attenzione alle donne e ai bambini, di assenza di assistenza sanitaria.

      Nelle conclusioni del Rapporto, i ricercatori che si sono dedicati a questa attenta analisi dei progetti delle ONG italiane in Libia evidenziano quanto già abbiamo avuto modo di dire in precedenza. Tali progetti sono uno dei tasselli di cui si compone il complesso mosaico che riguardo i rapporti bilaterali tra Italia e Libia.

      Una stagione di accordi che prende le mosse dal noto memorandum del mese di febbraio 2017 e che mira soprattutto a limitare l’afflusso di migranti privi di visto di ingresso dal territorio libico a quello italiano.

      Un altro tassello è sicuramente costituito dalle missioni (peraltro rifinanziate dal nostro Parlamento pochi giorni fa) di addestramento e sostegno alla Guardia Costiera libica sempre da parte del nostro Stato.

      Lo scopo di questi accordi è quello di bloccare o riportare in Libia i migranti irregolari, detenerli in questo Paese e, poi, eventualmente smistarli verso altri paese terzi come il Niger o il Ruanda (o rimpatriarli nei paesi di origine).

      Tutto quello che accade durante e dopo non interessa. Non interessano gli strumenti che vengono utilizzati per bloccare le partenze, non interessano i metodi che vengono adoperati dalla Guardia costiera per bloccare i migranti, non interessa lo stato di detenzione a cui sono sottoposti. In vista del contenimento dei flussi migratori tutto è consentito alla Libia.

      https://www.meltingpot.org/La-realta-libica-raccontata-attraverso-un-rapporto-sugli.html

  • What happens to migrants forcibly returned to Libya?

    ‘These are people going missing by the hundreds.’

    The killing last week of three young men after they were intercepted at sea by the EU-funded Libyan Coast Guard has thrown the spotlight on the fate of tens of thousands of migrants and asylum seekers returned to Libya to face detention, abuse and torture by traffickers, or worse.

    The three Sudanese nationals aged between 15 and 18 were shot dead on 28 July, reportedly by members of a militia linked to the Coast Guard as they tried to avoid being detained. They are among more than 6,200 men, women, and children intercepted on the central Mediterranean and returned to Libya this year. Since 2017, that figure is around 40,000.

    Over the last three months, The New Humanitarian has spoken to migrants and Libyan officials, as well as to UN agencies and other aid groups and actors involved, to piece together what is happening to the returnees after they are brought back to shore.

    It has long been difficult to track the whereabouts of migrants and asylum seekers after they are returned to Libya, and for years there have been reports of people going missing or disappearing into unofficial detention centres after disembarking.

    But the UN’s migration agency, IOM, told TNH there has been an uptick in people vanishing off its radar since around December, and it suspects that at least some returnees are being taken to so-called “data-collection and investigation facilities” under the direct control of the Ministry of Interior for the Government of National Accord.

    The GNA, the internationally recognised authority in Libya, is based in the capital, Tripoli, and has been fighting eastern forces commanded by general Khalifa Haftar for 16 months in a series of battles that has developed into a regional proxy war.

    Unlike official detention centres run by the GNA’s Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration (DCIM) – also under the Ministry of the Interior – and its affiliated militias, neither IOM nor the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, has access to these data-collection facilities, which are intended for the investigation of smugglers and not for detaining migrants.

    “We have been told that migrants are no longer in these [data-collection] facilities and we wonder if they have been transferred,” Safa Msehli, spokesperson for IOM in Libya, told TNH.

    “These are people going missing by the hundreds. We have also been told – and are hearing reports from community leaders – that people are going missing,” she said. “We feel the worst has happened, and that these locations [data-collection facilities] are being used to smuggle or traffic people.”

    According to IOM, more than half of the over 6,200 people returned to Libya this year – which includes at least 264 women and 202 children – remain unaccounted for after being loaded onto buses and driven away from the disembarkation points on the coast.

    Msehli said some people had been released after they are returned, but that their number was “200 maximum”, and that if others had simply escaped she would have expected them to show up at community centres run by IOM and its local partners – which most haven’t.

    Masoud Abdal Samad, a commander in the Libyan Coast Guard, denied all accusations of trafficking to TNH, even though the UN has sanctioned individuals in the Coast Guard for their involvement in people smuggling and trafficking. He also said he didn’t know where asylum seekers and migrants end up after they are returned to shore. “It’s not my responsibility. It’s DCIM that determines where the migrants go,” he said.

    Neither the head of the DCIM, Al Mabrouk Abdel-Hafez, nor the media officer for the interior ministry, Mohammad Abu Abdallah, responded to requests for comment from TNH. But the Libyan government recently told the Wall Street Journal that all asylum seekers and migrants returned by the Coast Guard are taken to official detention centres.
    ‘I can’t tell you where we take them’

    TNH spoke to four migrants – three of whom were returned by the Libyan Coast Guard and placed in detention, one of them twice. All described a system whereby returned migrants and asylum seekers are being routinely extorted and passed between different militias.

    Contacted via WhatsApp, Yasser, who only gave his first name for fear of retribution for exposing the abuse he suffered, recounted his ordeal in a series of conversations between May and June.

    The final stage of his journey to start a new life in Europe began on a warm September morning in 2019 when he squeezed onto a rubber dinghy along with 120 other people in al-Garabulli, a coastal town near Tripoli. The year before, the 33-year-old Sudanese asylum seeker had escaped from conflict in his village in the Nuba Mountains to search for safety and opportunity.

    By nightfall, those on board the small boat spotted a reconnaissance aircraft, likely dispatched as part of an EU or Italian aerial surveillance mission. It appears the aircraft alerted the Libyan Coast Guard, which soon arrived to drag them onto their boat and back to war-torn Libya.

    Later that day, as the boat approached the port, Yasser overheard a uniformed member of the Coast Guard speaking on the phone. The man said he had around 100 migrants and was willing to sell each one for 500 Libyan dinars ($83).

    “Militias buy and sell us to make a profit in this country,” Yasser told TNH months later, after he escaped. “In their eyes, refugees are just an investment.”

    When Yasser stepped off the Coast Guard boat in Tripoli’s port, he saw dozens of people he presumed were aid workers tending to the injured. He tried to tell them that he and the others were going to be sold to a militia, but the scene was frantic and he said they didn’t listen.

    “Militias buy and sell us to make a profit in this country. In their eyes, refugees are just an investment.”

    Yasser couldn’t recall which organisation the aid workers were from. Whoever was there, they watched Libyan authorities herd Yasser and the other migrants onto a handful of buses and drive them away.

    IOM, or UNHCR, or one of their local partners are usually present at disembarkation points when migrants are returned to shore. The two UN agencies, which receive significant EU funding for their operations in Libya and have been criticised for participating in the system of interception and detention, say they tend to the injured and register asylum seekers. They also said they count the number of people returned from sea and jot down their nationalities and gender.

    But both agencies told TNH they are unable to track where people go next because Libyan authorities do not keep an official database of asylum seekers and migrants intercepted at sea or held in detention centres.

    News footage – and testimonies from migrants and aid workers – shows white buses with DCIM logos frequently pick up those disembarking. TNH also identified a private bus company that DCIM contracts for transportation. The company, called Essahim, imported 130 vehicles from China before beginning operations in September 2019.

    On its Facebook page, Essahim only advertises its shuttle bus services to Misrata airport, in northwest Libya. But a high-level employee, who asked TNH not to disclose his name for fear of reprisal from Libyan authorities, confirmed that the company picks up asylum seekers and migrants from disembarkation points on the shore.

    He said all of Essahim’s buses are equipped with a GPS tracking system to ensure drivers don’t deviate from their route. He also emphasised that the company takes people to “legitimate centres”, but he refused to disclose the locations.

    “You have to ask the government,” he told TNH. “I can’t tell you where we take them. It’s one of the conditions in the contract.”

    Off the radar

    Since Libya’s 2011 revolution, state security forces – such as the Coast Guard and interior ministry units – have mostly consisted of a collection of militias vying for legitimacy and access to sources of revenue.

    Migrant detention centres have been particularly lucrative to control, and even the official ones can be run by whichever local militia or armed group holds sway at a particular time. Those detained are not granted rights or legal processes, and there have been numerous reports of horrific abuse, and deaths from treatable diseases like tuberculosis.

    Facts regarding the number of different detention centres and who controls them are sketchy, especially as they often close and re-open or come under new management, and as territory can change hands between the GNA and forces aligned with Haftar. Both sides have a variety of militias fighting alongside them, and there are splits within the alliances.

    But IOM’s Msehli told TNH that as of 1 August that there are 11 official detention centres run by DCIM, and that she was aware of returned migrants also being taken to what she believes are four different data-collection and investigation facilities – three in Tripoli and one in Zuwara, a coastal city about 100 kilometres west of the capital. The government has not disclosed how many data-collection centres there are or where they are located.

    Beyond the official facilities, there are also numerous makeshift compounds used by smugglers and militias – especially in the south and in the former Muammar Gaddafi stronghold of Bani Walid – for which there is no data, according to a report by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime (GI).

    Yasser told TNH he had no idea if he was in an official DCIM-run detention centre or an unofficial site after he was pulled off the bus that took him to a makeshift prison from the port of Tripoli. Unless UN agencies show up, it is hard for detainees to tell the difference. Conditions are dismal and abuses occur in both locations: In unofficial facilities the extortion of detainees is systematic, while in official centres it tends to be carried out by individual staff members, according to the GI report.

    Between Yasser’s description and information from an aid group that gained access to the facility – but declined to be identified for fear of jeopardising its work – TNH believes Yasser was taken to an informal centre in Tripoli called Shaaria Zawiya, outside the reach of UN agencies. Msehli said IOM believes it is a data-collection and investigation facility.

    During the time Yasser was there, the facility was under the control of a militia commander with a brutal reputation, according to a high-level source from the aid group. The commander was eventually replaced in late 2019, but not before trying to extort hundreds of people, including Yasser.

    Several nights after he arrived at the centre, everyone being held there was ordered to pay a 3,000 Libyan dinar ransom – about $500 on the Libyan black market. The militia separated detainees by nationality and tossed each group a cell phone. They gave one to the Eritreans, one to the Somalis, and one to the Sudanese. The detainees were told to call their families and beg, Yasser recalled.

    Those who couldn’t pay languished in the centre until they were sold for a lower sum to another militia, which would try to extort them for a smaller ransom to earn a profit. This is a widely reported trend all across Libya: Militias sell migrants they can’t extort to make space for new hostages.

    Yasser’s friends and family were too poor to pay for his release, yet he clung to hope that he would somehow escape. He watched as the militia commander beat and intimidated other asylum seekers and migrants in the centre, but he was too scared to intervene. As the weeks passed, he started to believe nobody would find him.

    Then, one day, he saw a couple of aid workers. They came to document the situation and treat the wounded. “The migrants who spoke English whispered for help, but [the aid workers] just kept silent and nodded,” Yasser said.

    The aid workers were from the same NGO that identified the data-collection facility to TNH. The aid group said it suspects that Libyan authorities are taking migrants to two other locations in Tripoli after disembarkation: a data-collection and investigation facility in a neighbourhood called Hay al-Andulus, and an abandoned tobacco factory in another Tripoli suburb. “I know the factory exists, but I have no idea how many people are inside,” the source said, adding that the aid group had been unable to negotiate access to either location.

    “We were treated like animals.”

    Msehli confirmed that IOM believes migrants have been taken to both compounds, neither of which are under DCIM control. She added that more migrants are ending up in another unofficial location in Tripoli.

    After languishing for two months, until November, in Shaaria Zawiya, Yasser said he was sold to a militia manning what he thinks was an official detention centre. He assumed the location was official because uniformed UNHCR employees frequently showed up with aid. When UNHCR wasn’t there, the militia still demanded ransoms from the people inside.

    “We were treated like animals,” Yasser said. “But at least when UNHCR visited, the militia fed us more food than usual.”

    Tariq Argaz, the spokesperson for UNHCR in Libya, defended the agency’s aid provision to official facilities like this one, saying: “We are against the detention of refugees, but we have a humanitarian imperative to assist refugees wherever they are, even if it is a detention centre.”

    Growing pressure on EU to change tack

    The surge in disappearances raises further concerns about criminality and human rights abuses occurring within a system of interception and detention by Libyan authorities that the EU and EU member states have funded and supported since 2017.

    The aim of the support is to crack down on smuggling networks, reduce the number of asylum seekers and migrants arriving in Europe, and improve detention conditions in Libya, but critics say it has resulted in tens of thousands of people being returned to indefinite detention and abuse in Libya. There is even less oversight now that asylum seekers and migrants are ending up in data-collection and investigation facilities, beyond the reach of UN agencies.

    The escalating conflict in Libya and the coronavirus crisis have made the humanitarian situation for asylum seekers and migrants in the country “worse than ever”, according to IOM. At the same time, Italy and Malta have further turned their backs on rescuing people at sea. Italy has impounded NGO search and rescue ships, while both countries have repeatedly failed to respond, or responded slowly, to distress calls, and Malta even hired a private fishing vessel to return people rescued at sea to Libya.

    “We believe that people shouldn’t be returned to Libya,” Msehli told TNH. “This is due to the lack of any protection mechanism that the Libyan state takes or is able to take.”

    There are currently estimated to be at least 625,000 migrants in Libya and 47,859 registered asylum seekers and refugees. Of this number, around 1,760 migrants – including 760 registered asylum seekers and refugees – are in the DCIM-run detention centres, according to data from IOM and UNHCR, although IOM’s data only covers eight out of the 11 DCIM facilities.

    The number of detainees in unofficial centres and makeshift compounds is unknown but, based on those unaccounted for and the reported experiences of migrants, could be many times higher. A recent estimate from Liam Kelly, director of the Danish Refugee Council in Libya, suggests as many as 80,000 people have been in them at some point in recent years.

    There remains no clear explanation why some people intercepted attempting the sea journey appear to be being taken to data-collection and investigation facilities, while others end up in official centres. But researchers believe migrants are typically taken to facilities that have space to house new detainees, or other militias may strike a deal to purchase a new group to extort them.

    In a leaked report from last year, the EU acknowledged that the GNA “has not taken steps to improve the situation in the centres”, and that “the government’s reluctance to address the problems raises questions of its own involvement”.

    The UN, human rights groups, researchers, journalists and TNH have noted that there is little distinction between criminal groups, militias, and other entities involved in EU-supported migration control activities under the GNA.

    A report released last week by UNHCR and the Mixed Migration Centre (MMC) at the Danish Refugee Council said that migrants being smuggled and trafficked to the Mediterranean coast had identified the primary perpetrators of abuses as state officials and law enforcement.

    Pressure on the EU over its proximity to abuses resulting from the interception and detention of asylum seekers and migrants in Libya is mounting. International human rights lawyers have filed lawsuits to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the UN human rights committee, and the European Court of Human Rights to attempt to hold the EU accountable.

    Peter Stano, the EU Commission’s official spokesperson for External Affairs, told TNH that the EU doesn’t consider Libya a safe country, but that its priority has always been to stop irregular migration to keep migrants from risking their lives, while protecting the most vulnerable.

    “We have repeated again and again, together with our international partners in the UN and African Union, that arbitrary detention of migrants and refugees in Libya must end, including to Libyan authorities,” he said. “The situation in these centres is unacceptable, and arbitrary detention of migrants and refugees upon disembarkation must stop.”

    For Yasser, it took a war for him to have the opportunity to escape from detention. In January this year, the facility he was in came under heavy fire during a battle in the war for Tripoli. Dozens of migrants, including Yasser, made a run for it.

    He is now living in a crowded house with other Sudanese asylum seekers in the coastal town of Zawiya, and says that returning to the poverty and instability in Sudan is out of the question. With his sights set on Europe, he still intends to cross the Mediterranean, but he’s afraid of being intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard, trafficked, and extorted all over again.

    “It’s a business,” said Yasser. “Militias pay for your head and then they force you to pay for your freedom.”

    https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2020/08/05/missing-migrants-Libya-forced-returns-Mediterranean

    #chronologie #timeline #time-line #migrations #asile #réfugiés #chiffres #statistiques #pull-back #pull-backs #push-backs #refoulements #disparitions #torture #décès #morts #gardes-côtes_libyens #détention #centres_de_détention #milices

    ping @isskein

    • The legal battle to hold the EU to account for Libya migrant abuses

      ‘It’s a well known fact that we’re all struggling here, as human rights practitioners.’

      More than 6,500 asylum seekers and migrants have been intercepted at sea and returned to Libya by the Libyan Coast Guard so far this year. Since the EU and Italy began training, funding, equipping, and providing operational assistance to the Libyan Coast Guard in 2017, that number stands at around 40,000 people.

      Critics say European support for these interceptions and returns is one of the most glaring examples of the trade-off being made between upholding human rights – a fundamental EU value – and the EU’s determination to reduce migration to the continent.

      Those intercepted at sea and returned to Libya by the Libyan Coast Guard – predominantly asylum seekers and migrants from East and West Africa – face indefinite detention, extortion, torture, sexual exploitation, and forced labour.

      This year alone, thousands have disappeared beyond the reach of UN agencies after being disembarked. Migration detention in Libya functions as a business that generates revenue for armed groups, some of whom have also pressed asylum seekers and migrants into military activities – a practice that is likely a war crime, according to Human Rights Watch.

      All of this has been well documented and widely known for years, even as the EU and Italy have stepped up their support for the Libyan Coast Guard. Yet despite their key role in empowering the Coast Guard to return people to Libya, international human rights lawyers have struggled to hold the EU and Italy to account. Boxed in by the limitations of international law, lawyers have had to find increasingly innovative legal strategies to try to establish European complicity in the abuses taking place.

      As the EU looks to expand its cooperation with third countries, the outcome of these legal efforts could have broader implications on whether the EU and its member states can be held accountable for the human rights impacts of their external migration policies.

      “Under international law there are rules… prohibiting states to assist other states in the commission of human rights violations,” Matteo de Bellis, Amnesty International’s migration researcher, told The New Humanitarian. “However, those international rules do not have a specific court where you can litigate them, where individuals can have access to remedy.”

      In fact, human rights advocates and lawyers argue that EU and Italian support for the Libyan Coast Guard is designed specifically to avoid legal responsibility.

      “For a European court to have jurisdiction over a particular policy, a European actor must be in control... of a person directly,” said Itamar Mann, an international human rights lawyer. “When a non-European agent takes that control, it’s far from clear that [a] European court has jurisdiction. So there is a kind of accountability gap under international human rights law.”
      ‘The EU is not blameless’

      When Italy signed a Memorandum of Understanding in February 2017 with Libya’s internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) “to ensure the reduction of illegal migratory flows”, the agreement carried echoes of an earlier era.

      In 2008, former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi signed a friendship treaty with Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi that, among other things, committed the two countries to working together to curb irregular migration.

      The following year, Italian patrol boats began intercepting asylum seekers and migrants at sea and returning them to Libya. In 2012, the European Court of Human Rights, an international court based in Strasbourg, France – which all EU member states are party to – ruled that the practice violated multiple articles of the European Convention on Human Rights.

      The decision, in what is known as the Hirsi case, was based on the idea that Italy had established “extraterritorial jurisdiction” over asylum seekers and migrants when it took them under their control at sea and had violated the principle of non-refoulement – a core element of international refugee law – by forcing them back to a country where they faced human rights abuses.

      Many states that have signed the 1951 refugee convention have integrated the principle of non-refoulement into their domestic law, binding them to protect asylum seekers once they enter a nation’s territory. But there are divergent interpretations of how it applies to state actors in international waters.

      By the time of the Hirsi decision, the practice had already ended and Gaddafi had been toppled from power. The chaos that followed the Libyan uprising in 2011 paved the way for a new era of irregular migration. The number of people crossing the central Meditteranean jumped from an average of tens of thousands per year throughout the late 1990s and 2000s to more than 150,000 per year in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

      Reducing these numbers became a main priority for Italy and the EU, and they kept the lessons of the Hirsi case in mind as they set about designing their policies, according to de Bellis.

      Instead of using European vessels, the EU and Italy focused on “enabling the Libyan authorities to do the dirty job of intercepting people at sea and returning them to Libya”, he said. “By doing so, they would argue that they have not breached international European law because they have never assumed control, and therefore exercised jurisdiction, over the people who have then been subjected to human rights violations [in Libya].”

      The number of people crossing the central Mediterranean has dropped precipitously in recent years as EU policies have hardened, and tens of thousands of people – including those returned by the Coast Guard – are estimated to have passed through formal and informal migration detention centres in Libya, some of them getting stuck for years and many falling victim to extortion and abuse.

      “There is always going to be a debate about, is the EU responsible… [because] it’s really Libya who has done the abuses,” said Carla Ferstman, a human rights law professor at the University of Essex in England. “[But] the EU is not blameless because it can’t pretend that it didn’t know the consequences of what it was going to do.”

      The challenge for human rights lawyers is how to legally establish that blame.
      The accountability gap

      Since 2017, the EU has given more than 91 million euros (about $107 million) to support border management projects in Libya. Much of that money has gone to Italy, which implements the projects and has provided its own funding and at least six patrol boats to the Libyan Coast Guard.

      One objective of the EU’s funding is to improve the human rights and humanitarian situation in official detention centres. But according to a leaked EU document from 2019, this is something the Libyan government had not been taking steps to do, “raising the question of its own involvement”, according to the document.

      The main goal of the funding is to strengthen the capacity of Libyan authorities to control the country’s borders and intercept asylum seekers and migrants at sea. This aspect of the policy has been effective, according to a September 2019 report by the UN secretary-general.

      “All our action is based on international and European law,” an EU spokesperson told the Guardian newspaper in June. “The European Union dialogue with Libyan authorities focuses on the respect for human rights of migrants and refugees.”

      The EU has legal obligations to ensure that its actions do not violate human rights in both its internal and external policy, according to Ferstman. But when it comes to actions taken outside of Europe, “routes for those affected to complain when their rights are being violated are very, very weak,” she said.

      The EU and its member states are also increasingly relying on informal agreements, such as the Memorandum of Understanding with Libya, in their external migration cooperation.

      “Once the EU makes formal agreements with third states… [it] is more tightly bound to a lot of human rights and refugee commitments,” Raphael Bossong, a researcher at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin, told TNH. “Hence, we see a shift toward less binding or purely informal arrangements.”

      Lawyers and researchers told TNH that the absence of formal agreements, and the combination of EU funding and member state implementation, undermines the standing of the EU Parliament and the Court of Justice, the bloc’s supreme court, to act as watchdogs.

      Efforts to challenge Italy’s role in cooperating with Libya in Italian courts have also so far been unsuccessful.

      “It’s a well known fact that we’re all struggling here, as human rights practitioners… to grapple with the very limited, minimalistic tools we have to address the problem at hand,” said Valentina Azarova, a lawyer and researcher affiliated with the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), a nonprofit organisation that pursues international human rights litigation.

      Uncharted territory

      With no clear path forward, human rights lawyers have ventured into uncharted territory to try to subject EU and Italian cooperation with Libya to legal scrutiny.

      Lawyers called last year for the International Criminal Court to investigate the EU for its alleged complicity in thousands of deaths in the Mediterranean, and legal organisations have filed two separate complaints with the UN Human Rights Committee, which has a quasi-judicial function.

      In November last year, GLAN also submitted a case, called S.S. and others v. Italy, to the European Court of Human Rights that aims to build on the Hirsi decision. The case argues that – through its financial, material, and operational support – Italy assumes “contactless control” over people intercepted by Libyan Coast Guard and therefore establishes jurisdiction over them.

      “Jurisdiction is not only a matter of direct, effective control over bodies,” Mann, who is part of GLAN, said of the case’s argument. “It’s also a matter of substantive control that can be wielded in many different ways.”

      GLAN, along with two Italian legal organisations, also filed a complaint in April to the European Court of Auditors, which is tasked with checking to see if the EU’s budget is implemented correctly and that funds are spent legally.

      The GLAN complaint alleges that funding border management activities in Libya makes the EU and its member states complicit in the human rights abuses taking place there, and is also a misuse of money intended for development purposes – both of which fall afoul of EU budgetary guidelines.

      The complaint asks for the EU funding to be made conditional on the improvement of the situation for asylum seekers and migrants in the country, and for it to be suspended until certain criteria are met, including the release of all refugees and migrants from arbitrary detention, the creation of an asylum system that complies with international standards, and the establishment of an independent, transparent mechanism to monitor and hold state and non-state actors accountable for human rights violations against refugees and migrants.

      The Court of Auditors is not an actual courtroom or a traditional venue for addressing human rights abuses. It is composed of financial experts who conduct an annual audit of the EU budget. The complaint is meant to encourage them to take a specific look at EU funding to Libya, but they aren’t obligated to do so.

      “To use the EU Court of Auditors to get some kind of human rights accountability is an odd thing to do,” said Ferstman, who is not involved in the complaint. “It speaks to the [accountability] gap and the absence of clear approaches.”

      “[Still], it is the institution where this matter needs to be adjudicated, so to speak,” Azarova, who came up with the strategy, added. “They are the experts on questions of EU budget law.”

      Closing the gap?

      If successful, the Court of Auditors complaint could change how EU funding for Libya operates and set a precedent requiring a substantive accounting of how money is being spent and whether it ends up contributing to human rights violations in other EU third-country arrangements, according to Mann. “It will be a blow to the general externalisation pattern,” he said.

      Ferstman cautioned, however, that its impact – at least legally – might not be so concrete. “[The Court of Auditors] can recommend everything that GLAN has put forward, but it will be a recommendation,” she said. “It will not be an order.”

      Instead, the complaint’s more significant impact might be political. “It could put a lot of important arsenal in the hands of the MEPs [Members of the European Parliament] who want to push forward changes,” Ferstman said.

      A European Court of Human Rights decision in favour of the plaintiffs in S.S. and others v Italy could be more decisive. “It would go a long way towards addressing that [accountability] gap, because individuals will be able to challenge European states that encourage and assist other countries to commit human rights violations,” de Bellis said.

      If any or all of the various legal challenges that are currently underway are successful, Bossong, from SWP, doesn’t expect them to put an end to external migration cooperation entirely. “Many [external] cooperations would continue,” he said. “[But] policy-makers and administrators would have to think harder: Where is the line? Where do we cross the line?”

      The Court of Auditors will likely decide whether to review EU funding for border management activities in Libya next year, but the European Court of Human Rights moves slowly, with proceedings generally taking around five years, according to Mann.

      Human rights advocates and lawyers worry that by the time the current legal challenges are concluded, the situation in the Mediterranean will again have evolved. Already, since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, states such as Malta and Greece have shifted from empowering third countries to intercept people at sea to carrying out pushbacks directly.

      “What is happening now, particularly in the Aegean, is much more alarming than the facts that generated the Hirsi case in terms of the violence of the actual pushbacks,” Mann said.

      Human rights lawyers are already planning to begin issuing challenges to the new practices. As they do, they are acutely aware of the limitations of the tools available to them. Or, as Azarova put it: “We’re dealing with symptoms. We’re not addressing the pathology.”

      https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/analysis/2020/08/10/Libya-migrant-abuses-EU-legal-battle

      #justice

  • En #Libye, les oubliés

    #Michaël_Neuman a passé une dizaine de jours en Libye, auprès des équipes de Médecins Sans Frontières qui travaillent notamment dans des #centres_de_détention pour migrants. De son séjour, il ramène les impressions suivantes qui illustrent le caractère lugubre de la situation des personnes qui y sont retenues, pour des mois, des années, et celle plus difficile encore de toutes celles sujets aux #enlèvements et aux #tortures.

    La saison est aux départs. Les embarcations de fortune prennent la mer à un rythme soutenu transportant à leur bord hommes, femmes et enfants. Depuis le début de l’année, 2300 personnes sont parvenues en Europe, plus de 2000 ont été interceptées et ramenées en Libye, par les garde-côtes, formés et financés par les Européens. Les uns avaient dès leur départ le projet de rejoindre l’Europe, les autres ont fait ce choix après avoir échoué dans les réseaux de trafic d’êtres humains, soumis aux tortures et privations. Les trajectoires se mêlent, les raisons des départs des pays d’origine ne sont souvent pas univoques. En ce mois de février 2020, ils sont nombreux à tenter leur chance. Ils partent de Tripoli, de Khoms, de Sabrata… villes où se mêlent conflits, intérêts d’affaires, tribaux, semblants d’Etat faisant mine de fonctionner, corruption. Les Libyens ne sont pas épargnés par le désordre ou les épisodes de guerre. Pourtant, ce sont les apparences de vie normale qui frappent le visiteur. Les marchés de fruits et légumes, comme les bouchons qui encombrent les rues de Tripoli en témoignent  : la ville a gonflé au rythme des arrivées de déplacés originaires des quartiers touchés par la guerre d’attrition dont le pays est le théâtre entre le gouvernement intérimaire libyen qui règne encore sur Tripoli et une partie du littoral ouest et le LNA, du Maréchal Haftar, qui contrôle une grande partie du pays. Puissances internationales – Italie, France, Russie, Turquie, Emirats Arabes Unis – sont rentrées progressivement dans le jeu, transformant la Libye en poudrière dont chaque coup de semonce de l’un des belligérants semble annoncer une prochaine déflagration d’ampleur. Erdogan et Poutine se faisant face, le pouls du conflit se prend aujourd’hui autant à Idlib en Syrie qu’à Tripoli.

    C’est dans ce pays en guerre que l’Union européenne déploie sa politique de soutien aux interceptions et aux retours des ‘migrants’. Tout y passe  : financement et formation des gardes côtes-libyens, délégation du sauvetage aux navires commerciaux, intimidation des bateaux de sauvetage des ONG, suspension de l’Opération Sophia. Mais rien n’y fait  : ni les bombardements sur le port et l’aéroport de Tripoli, ni les tirs de roquettes sur des centres de détention situés à proximité d’installation militaire, pas davantage que les témoignages produits sur les exécrables conditions de vie qui prévalent dans les centres de détention, les détournements de financements internationaux, ou sur la précarité extrême des migrants résidant en ville n’ébranlent les certitudes européennes. L’hypocrisie règne  : l’Union européenne affirme être contre la détention tout en la nourrissant par l’entretien du dispositif libyen d’interception  ; le Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les Réfugiés condamne les interceptions sans jamais évoquer la responsabilité des Européens.

    Onze centres de détention sont placés sous la responsabilité de la Direction chargée de l’immigration irrégulière libyenne (la DCIM). La liste évolue régulièrement sans que l’on sache toujours pourquoi, ni si la disparition d’un centre signifie véritablement qu’il a été vidé de ses détenus, ou qu’ils y résident encore sous un régime informel et sans doute plus violent encore. Une fois dans ces centres, les détenus ne savent jamais quand ils pourront en sortir  : certains s’en échappent, d’autres parviennent à acheter leur sortie, beaucoup y pourrissent des mois voire des années. L’attente y est physiquement et psychologiquement dévastatrice. C’est ainsi le lot des détenus de Dar El Jebel, près de Zintan, au cœur des montagnes Nafusa, loin et oubliés de tous : la plupart, des Erythréens, y sont depuis deux ans, parfois plus.

    La nourriture est insuffisante, les cellules, d’où les migrants ne sortent parfois que très peu, sont sombres et très froides ou très chaudes. Les journées sont parfois rythmées par les cliquetis des serrures et des barreaux. Dans la nuit du samedi 29 février au dimanche 1er mars 2020, une dizaine de jours après mon retour, un incendie sans doute accidentel à l’intérieur du centre de détention de Dar El Jebel a coûté la vie à un jeune homme érythréen.

    Nous pouvons certes témoigner que le travail entamé dans ces centres, l’attention portée à l’amélioration des conditions de vie, les consultations médicales, l’apport de compléments alimentaires, mais aussi et peut-être surtout la présence physique, visible, régulière ont contribué à les humaniser, voire à y limiter la violence qui s’y déploie. Pour autant, nous savons que tout gain est précaire, susceptible d’être mis à mal par un changement d’équilibre local, la rotation des gardes, la confiance qui se gagne et se perd, les services que nous rendons. Il n’est pas rare que les directeurs de centre expliquent que femmes et enfants n’ont rien à faire dans ces endroits, pas rare non plus qu’ils infligent des punitions sévères à ceux qui auraient tenté de s’échapper  ; certains affament leurs détenus, d’autres les libèrent lorsque la compagnie chargée de fournir les repas interrompt ses services faute de voir ses factures réglées. Il est probable que si les portes de certains centres de détention venaient à s’ouvrir, nombreux sont des détenus qui décideraient d’y rester, préférant à l’incertitude de l’extérieur leur précarité connue. Cela, beaucoup le disent à nos équipes. Dans ce pays fragmenté, les dynamiques et enjeux politiques locaux l’emportent. Ce qu’on apprend vite, en Libye, c’est l’impossibilité de généraliser les situations.

    Nous savons aussi que nous n’avons aucune vocation à devenir le service de santé d’un système de détention arbitraire  : il faut que ces gens sortent. Des hommes le plus souvent, mais aussi des femmes et des enfants, parfois tout petits, parfois nés en détention, parfois nés de viols. L’exposition à la violence, la perméabilité aux milices, aux trafiquants, la possibilité pour les détenus de travailler et de gagner un peu d’argent varient considérablement d’un centre à l’autre. Il en est aussi de leur accès pour les organisations humanitaires.

    Mais nous savons surtout que les centres de détention officiels n’abritent que 2000, 3000 des migrants en danger présents en Libye. Et les autres alors  ? Beaucoup travaillent, et assument une précarité qui est le lot, bien sûr à des degrés divers, de nombreux immigrés dans le monde, de Dubaï à Paris, de Khartoum à Bogota. Mais quelques dizaines de milliers d’autres, soit par malchance, soit parce qu’ils n’ont aucun projet de vie en Libye et recourent massivement aux services peu fiables de trafiquants risquent gros  : les enlèvements bien sûr, kidnappings contre rançons qui s’accompagnent de tortures et de sévices. Certains de ces «  migrants  », entre 45 000 et 50 000, sont reconnus «  réfugiés ou des demandeurs d’asiles  » par le Haut-Commissariat pour les réfugiés : ils sont Erythréens, Soudanais, Somaliens pour la plupart. De très nombreux autres, migrants économiques dit-on, sont Nigérians, Maliens, Marocains, Guinéens, Bangladeshis, etc. Ils sont plus seuls encore.

    Pour les premiers, un maigre espoir de relocalisation subsiste  : l’année dernière, le HCR fut en mesure d’organiser le départ de 2400 personnes vers le Niger et le Rwanda, où elles ont été placées encore quelques mois en situation d’attente avant qu’un pays, le plus souvent européen, les accepte. A ce rythme donc, il faudrait 20 ans pour les évacuer en totalité – et c’est sans compter les arrivées nouvelles. D’autant plus que le programme de ‘réinstallation’ cible en priorité les personnes identifiées comme vulnérables, à savoir femmes, enfants, malades. Les hommes adultes, seuls – la grande majorité des Erythréens par exemple – ont peu de chance de faire partie des rares personnes sélectionnées. Or très lourdement endettés et craignant légitimement pour leur sécurité dans leur pays d’origine, ils ne rentreront en aucun cas ; ayant perdu l’espoir que le Haut-Commissariat pour les réfugiés les fassent sortir de là, leur seule perspective réside dans une dangereuse et improbable traversée de la Méditerranée.

    Faute de lieux protégés, lorsqu’ils sont extraits des centres de détention par le HCR, ils sont envoyés en ville, à Tripoli surtout, devenant des ‘réfugiés urbains’ bénéficiant d’un paquet d’aide minimal, délivré en une fois et dont on peine à voir la protection qu’il garantit à qui que ce soit. Dans ces lieux, les migrants restent à la merci des trafiquants et des violences, comme ce fut le cas pour deux Erythréens en janvier dernier. Ceux-là avaient pourtant et pour un temps, été placés sous la protection du HCR au sein du Gathering and Departure Facility. Fin 2018, le HCR avait obtenu l’ouverture à Tripoli de ce centre cogéré avec les autorités libyennes et initialement destiné à faciliter l’évacuation des demandeurs d’asiles vers des pays tiers. Prévu à l’origine pour accueillir 1000 personnes, il n’aura pas résisté plus d’un an au conflit qui a embrasé la capitale en avril 2019 et à la proximité de milices combattantes.

    D’ailleurs, certains d’entre eux préfèrent la certitude de la précarité des centres de détention à l’incertitude plus inquiétante encore de la résidence en milieu ouvert  : c’est ainsi qu’à intervalles réguliers, nous sommes témoins de ces retours. En janvier, quatre femmes somalies, sommées de libérer le GDF en janvier, ont fait le choix de rejoindre en taxi leurs maris détenus à Dar El Jebel, dont elles avaient été séparées par le HCR qui ne reconnaissaient pas la légalité des couples. Les promesses d’évacuation étant virtuelles, elles sont en plus confrontées à une absurdité supplémentaire  : une personne enregistrée par le HCR ne pourra bénéficier du système de rapatriement volontaire de l’Organisation Internationale des Migrations quand bien même elle le souhaiterait.

    Pour les seconds, non protégés par le HCR, l’horizon n’est pas plus lumineux : d’accès à l’Europe, il ne peut en être question qu’au prix, là encore, d’une dangereuse traversée. L’alternative est le retour au pays, promue et organisée par l’Organisation internationale des Migrations et vécue comme une défaite souvent indépassable. De tels retours, l’OIM en a organisé plus de 40 000 depuis 2016. En 2020, ils seront probablement environ 10 000 à saisir l’occasion d’un «  départ volontaire  », dont on mesure à chaque instant l’absurdité de la qualification. Au moins, ceux-là auront-ils mis leur expérience libyenne derrière eux.

    La situation des migrants en Libye est à la fois banale et exceptionnelle. Exceptionnelle en raison de l’intense violence à laquelle ils sont souvent confrontés, du moins pour un grand nombre d’entre eux - la violence des trafiquants et des ravisseurs, la violence du risque de mourir en mer, la violence de la guerre. Mais elle est aussi banale, de manière terrifiante : la différence entre un Érythréen vivant parmi des rats sous le périphérique parisien ou dans un centre de détention à Khoms n’est pas si grande. Leur expérience de la migration est incroyablement violente, leur situation précaire et dangereuse. La situation du Darfouri à Agadez n’est pas bien meilleure, ni celle d’un Afghan de Samos, en Grèce. Il est difficile de ne pas voir cette population, incapable de bouger dans le monde de la mobilité, comme la plus indésirable parmi les indésirables. Ce sont les oubliés.

    https://www.msf-crash.org/index.php/fr/blog/camps-refugies-deplaces/en-libye-les-oublies
    #rapport_d'observation #torture #détention #gardes-côtes_libyens #hypocrisie #UE #EU #Union_européenne #responsabilité #Direction_chargée_de_l’immigration_irrégulière_libyenne (#DCIM) #Dar_El_Jebel #Zintan #montagne #Nafusa (#montagnes_Nafusa) #attente #violence #relocalisation #Niger #Rwanda #réinstallation #vulnérabilité #urban_refugees #Tripoli #réfugiés_urbains #HCR #GDF #OIM #IOM #rapatriement_volontaire #retour_au_pays #retour_volontaire

    ping @_kg_

  • Migrants en Libye, les oubliés de l’exil

    Venus le plus souvent d’Érythrée, les migrants sont détenus dans des conditions lamentables, et souvent les victimes de milices qui les torturent et les rançonnent. Les Nations unies et l’Union européenne préfèrent détourner le regard. Témoignages.

    L’odeur d’excréments s’accentue à mesure que nous approchons de l’entrepôt qui constitue le bâtiment principal du centre de détention de #Dhar-El-Djebel, dans les montagnes du #djebel_Nefoussa. Un problème de plomberie, précise le directeur, confus.

    Il ouvre le portail métallique du hangar en béton, qui abrite environ 500 détenus, presque tous érythréens. Les demandeurs d’asile reposent sur des matelas gris à même le sol. Au bout d’une allée ouverte entre les matelas, des hommes font la queue pour uriner dans l’un des onze seaux prévus à cet effet.

    Personne dans cette pièce, m’avait expliqué un détenu lors de ma première visite en mai 2019, n’a vu la lumière du jour depuis septembre 2018, quand un millier de migrants détenus à Tripoli ont été évacués ici. #Zintan, la ville la plus proche, est éloignée des combats de la capitale libyenne, mais aussi des yeux des agences internationales. Les migrants disent avoir été oubliés.

    En Libye, quelque 5 000 migrants sont toujours détenus pour une durée indéterminée dans une dizaine de #centres_de_détention principaux, officiellement gérés par la #Direction_pour_combattre_la_migration_illégale (#Directorate_for_Combatting_Illegal_Migration, #DCIM) du gouvernement d’entente nationale (#GEN) reconnu internationalement. En réalité, depuis la chute de Mouammar Kadhafi en 2011, la Libye ne dispose pas d’un gouvernement stable, et ces centres sont souvent contrôlés par des #milices. En l’absence d’un gouvernement fonctionnel, les migrants en Libye sont régulièrement kidnappés, réduits en esclavage et torturés contre rançon.

    L’Europe finance les garde-côtes

    Depuis 2017, l’Union européenne (UE) finance les #garde-côtes_libyens pour empêcher les migrants d’atteindre les côtes européennes. Des forces libyennes, certaines équipées et entraînées par l’UE, capturent et enferment ainsi des migrants dans des centres de détention, dont certains se trouvent dans des zones de guerre, ou sont gardés par des milices connues pour vendre les migrants à des trafiquants.

    Contrairement à d’autres centres de détention que j’ai visités en Libye, celui de Dhar-El-Djebel ne ressemble pas à une prison. Avant 2011, cet ensemble de bâtiments en pleine campagne était, selon les termes officiels, un centre d’entraînement pour « les bourgeons, les lionceaux et les avant-bras du Grand Libérateur » — les enfants à qui l’on enseignait le Livre vert de Kadhafi. Quand le GEN, basé à Tripoli, a été formé en 2016, le centre a été placé sous l’autorité du DCIM.

    En avril, Médecins sans frontières (MSF) pour lequel je travaillais a commencé à faire des consultations à Dhar-El-Djebel. Le centre retenait alors 700 migrants. La plupart étaient enregistrés comme demandeurs d’asile par l’Agence des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés (UNHCR), mais selon la loi libyenne, ce sont des migrants « illégaux » et ils peuvent être détenus pour une durée indéterminée.

    N’ayant que peu d’espoir de sortir, plusieurs ont tenté de se suicider au contact de fils électriques. D’autres avaient placé leur foi en Dieu, mais aussi dans les réseaux sociaux et leurs talents de bricoleurs. La plupart des détenus érythréens sont chrétiens : sur le mur face à la porte, ils ont construit une église orthodoxe abyssine au moyen de cartons colorés de nourriture et de matelas verts du HCR, avec des croix en cire de bougie. Sur d’autres matelas, ils ont écrit, avec du concentré de tomates et du piment rouge, des slogans tels que « Nous sommes victimes du HCR en Libye ». Avec leurs smartphones, ils ont posté des photos sur les réseaux sociaux, posant avec les bras croisés pour montrer qu’ils étaient prisonniers.

    Leurs efforts avaient attiré l’attention. Le 3 juin, le HCR évacuait 96 demandeurs d’asile à Tripoli. Une semaine plus tard, l’entrepôt bondé dans lequel j’avais d’abord rencontré les migrants était enfin vidé. Mais 450 Érythréens restaient enfermés dans le centre, entassés dans d’autres bâtiments, à plus de vingt dans une vingtaine de cellules, bien que de nombreux détenus préfèrent dormir dans les cours, sous des tentes de fortune faites de couvertures.

    « Ils nous appellent Dollars et Euros »

    La plupart des Érythréens de Dhar-El-Djebel racontent une histoire proche : avant d’être piégés dans le système de détention libyen, ils ont fui la dictature érythréenne, où le service militaire est obligatoire et tout aussi arbitraire. En 2017, Gebray, âgé d’un peu plus de 30 ans, a laissé sa femme et son fils dans un camp de réfugiés en Éthiopie et payé des passeurs 1 600 dollars (1 443 euros) pour traverser le désert soudanais vers la Libye avec des dizaines d’autres migrants. Mais les passeurs les ont vendus à des trafiquants libyens qui les ont détenus et torturés à l’électricité jusqu’à ce qu’ils téléphonent à leurs proches pour leur demander une #rançon. Après 10 mois en prison, la famille de Gebray avait envoyé près de 10 000 dollars (9 000 euros) pour sa libération : « Ma mère et mes sœurs ont dû vendre leurs bijoux. Je dois maintenant les rembourser. C’est très dur de parler de ça ».

    Les migrants érythréens sont particulièrement ciblés, car beaucoup de trafiquants libyens croient qu’ils peuvent compter sur l’aide d’une riche diaspora en Europe et en Amérique du Nord. « Nous sommes les plus pauvres, mais les Libyens pensent que nous sommes riches. Ils nous appellent Dollars et Euros », me raconte un autre migrant.

    Après avoir survécu à la #torture, beaucoup comme Gebray ont de nouveau payé pour traverser la mer, mais ont été interceptés par les garde-côtes libyens et enfermés en centre de détention. Certains compagnons de cellule de Gebray ont été détenus depuis plus de deux ans dans cinq centres successifs. Alors que la traversée de la Méditerranée devenait plus risquée, certains se sont rendus d’eux-mêmes dans des centres de détention dans l’espoir d’y être enregistrés par le HCR.

    Les ravages de la tuberculose

    Dans l’entrepôt de Dhar-El-Djebel, Gebray a retrouvé un ancien camarade d’école, Habtom, qui est devenu dentiste. Grâce à ses connaissances médicales, Habtom s’est rendu compte qu’il avait la tuberculose. Après quatre mois à tousser, il a été transféré de l’entrepôt dans un plus petit bâtiment pour les Érythréens les plus malades. Gebray, qui explique qu’à ce moment-là, il ne pouvait « plus marcher, même pour aller aux toilettes », l’y a rapidement suivi. Quand j’ai visité la « maison des malades », quelque 90 Érythréens, la plupart suspectés d’avoir la tuberculose, y étaient confinés et ne recevaient aucun traitement adapté.

    Autrefois peu répandue en Libye, la tuberculose s’est rapidement propagée parmi les migrants dans les prisons bondées. Tandis que je parlais à Gebray, il m’a conseillé de mettre un masque : « J’ai dormi et mangé avec des tuberculeux, y compris Habtom ».

    Habtom est mort en décembre 2018. « Si j’ai la chance d’arriver en Europe, j’aiderai sa famille, c’est mon devoir », promet Gebray. De septembre 2018 à mai 2019, au moins 22 détenus de Dhar-El-Djebel sont morts, principalement de la tuberculose. Des médecins étaient pourtant présents dans le centre de détention, certains de l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM), et d’autres d’#International_Medical_Corps (#IMC), une ONG américaine financée par le HCR et l’UE. Selon un responsable libyen, « nous les avons suppliés d’envoyer des détenus à l’hôpital, mais ils ont dit qu’ils n’avaient pas de budget pour ça ». Les transferts à l’hôpital ont été rares. En revanche, une quarantaine des détenus les plus malades, la plupart chrétiens, ont été transférés dans un autre centre de détention à Gharyan, plus proche d’un cimetière chrétien. « Ils ont été envoyés à Gharyan pour mourir », explique Gebray. Huit d’entre eux sont morts entre janvier et mai.

    Contrairement à Dhar-El-Djebel, #Gharyan ressemble à un centre de détention : une série de containers entourés de hauts grillages métalliques. Yemane a été transféré ici en janvier : « Le directeur de Dhar-El-Djebel et le personnel d’IMC nous ont dit qu’ils allaient nous conduire à l’hôpital à Tripoli. Ils n’ont pas parlé de Gharyan... Quand on est arrivés, on a été immédiatement enfermés dans un container ».
    Des migrants vendus et torturés

    Selon Yemane, une femme a tenté de se pendre quand elle a compris qu’elle était à Gharyan, et non dans un hôpital, comme le leur avaient promis les médecins d’IMC. Beaucoup gardaient de mauvais souvenirs de Gharyan : en 2018, des hommes armés masqués y ont kidnappé quelque 150 migrants détenus dans le centre et les ont vendus à des centres de torture. Le centre a alors brièvement fermé, puis rouvert, avec à sa tête un nouveau directeur, qui m’a expliqué que des trafiquants l’appelaient régulièrement pour tenter de lui acheter des migrants détenus.

    En avril 2019, des forces de Khalifa Haftar, l’homme fort de l’est de la Libye, ont lancé une offensive contre les forces pro-GEN à Tripoli et se sont emparées de Gharyan. Les troupes d’Haftar se sont installées à proximité du centre de détention et les avions du GEN ont régulièrement bombardé la zone. Effrayés par les frappes aériennes autant que par les migrants tuberculeux, les gardes ont déserté. Chaque fois que je me suis rendu sur place, nous sommes allés chercher le directeur dans sa maison en ville, puis l’avons conduit jusqu’au portail du centre, où il appelait un migrant pour qu’il lui ouvre. Les détenus lui avaient demandé un cadenas pour pouvoir s’enfermer et se protéger des incursions. De fait, des forces pro-Haftar venaient demander aux migrants de travailler pour eux. Yemane indique qu’un jour, ils ont enlevé quinze hommes, dont on est sans nouvelles.

    MSF a demandé au HCR d’évacuer les détenus de Gharyan. L’agence de l’ONU a d’abord nié que Gharyan était en zone de guerre, avant de l’admettre et de suggérer le transfert des détenus au centre de détention #Al-Nasr, à #Zawiya, à l’ouest de Tripoli. Pourtant, le Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU a accusé les forces qui contrôlent ce centre de trafic de migrants, et placé deux de leurs dirigeants sous sanctions.

    « Si vous êtes malades, vous devez mourir ! »

    Les détenus étaient toujours à Gharyan quand, le 26 juin, les forces du GEN ont repris la zone. Le jour suivant, ils ont forcé le portail du centre de détention avec une voiture et demandé aux migrants de se battre à leurs côtés. Les détenus effrayés ont montré leurs médicaments contre la tuberculose en répétant des mots d’arabe que des employés du HCR leur avaient appris − kaha (#toux) et darn (#tuberculose). Les miliciens sont repartis, l’un d’eux lançant aux migrants : « Si vous êtes malades, on reviendra vous tuer. Vous devez mourir ! ».

    Le 4 juillet, le HCR a enfin évacué les détenus restants vers Tripoli. L’agence a donné à chacun d’eux 450 dinars (100 euros) pour qu’ils subvenir à leurs besoins dans une ville qu’ils ne connaissaient pas. L’abri où ils étaient censés loger s’avérant trop coûteux, ils ont déménagé vers un endroit moins cher, jadis une bergerie. « Le HCR dit qu’on sera en sécurité dans cette ville, mais pour nous, la Libye n’offre ni liberté ni sécurité », explique Yemane.

    La plupart des 29 migrants évacués de Gharyan sont maintenant bloqués, et en danger, dans les rues de Tripoli, mais espèrent toujours obtenir l’asile en dehors de Libye. Les combats se poursuivant à Tripoli, des miliciens ont proposé à Yemane de s’enrôler pour 1 000 dollars (901 euros) par mois. « J’ai vu beaucoup de migrants qui ont été recrutés ainsi, puis blessés », m’a-t-il raconté récemment sur WhatsApp. Deux de ses colocataires ont été à nouveau emprisonnés par des milices, qui leur ont demandé 200 dollars (180 euros) chacun.

    Les migrants de Gharyan ont si peur dans les rues de Tripoli qu’ils ont demandé à retourner en détention ; l’un d’entre eux est même parvenu à entrer dans le centre de détention d’Abou Salim. Nombre d’entre eux ont la tuberculose. Fin octobre, Yemane lui-même a découvert qu’il en était porteur, mais n’a pas encore de traitement.
    « Ils nous ont donné de faux espoirs »

    Contrairement à Gharyan, Dhar-El-Djebel est loin des combats. Mais depuis avril, des migrants détenus à Tripoli refusent d’y être transférés car ils craignent d’être oubliés dans le djebel Nefoussa. Selon un responsable de la zone, « notre seul problème ici, c’est que le HCR ne fait pas son travail. Cela fait deux ans qu’ils font de fausses promesses à ces gens ». La plupart des détenus de Dhar-El-Djebel ont été enregistrés comme demandeurs d’asile par le HCR, et espèrent donc être relocalisés dans des pays d’accueil sûr. Gebray a été enregistré en octobre 2018 à Dhar-El-Djebel : « Depuis, je n’ai pas vu le HCR. Ils nous ont donné de faux espoirs en nous disant qu’ils allaient revenir bientôt pour nous interviewer et nous évacuer de Libye ».

    Les 96 Érythréens et Somaliens transférés en juin de Dhar-El-Djebel au « centre de rassemblement et de départ » du HCR à Tripoli étaient convaincus qu’ils feraient partie des chanceux prioritaires pour une évacuation vers l’Europe ou l’Amérique du Nord. Mais en octobre, le HCR aurait rejeté une soixantaine d’entre eux, dont 23 femmes et 6 enfants. Ils n’ont plus d’autre choix que de tenter de survivre dans les rues de Tripoli ou d’accepter un « retour volontaire » vers les pays dont ils ont fui la violence.

    Le rapport de la visite de l’ONU à Dhar-El-Djebel en juin, durant ce même transfert, avait prévenu que « le nombre de personnes que le HCR sera en mesure d’évacuer sera très faible par rapport à la population restante [à Dhar-El-Djebel] en raison du nombre de places limité offert la communauté internationale ».

    De fait, le HCR a enregistré près de 60 000 demandeurs d’asile en Libye, mais n’a pu en évacuer qu’environ 2 000 par an. La capacité de l’agence à évacuer des demandeurs d’asile de Libye dépend des offres des pays d’accueil, principalement européens. Les plus ouverts n’accueillent chaque année que quelques centaines des réfugiés bloqués en Libye. Les détenus de Dhar-El-Djebel le savent. Lors d’une de leurs manifestations, leurs slogans écrits à la sauce tomate visaient directement l’Europe : « Nous condamnons la politique de l’UE envers les réfugiés innocents détenus en Libye ».

    « L’Europe dit qu’elle nous renvoie en Libye pour notre propre sécurité, explique Gebray. Pourquoi ne nous laissent-ils pas mourir en mer, sans souffrance ? Cela vaut mieux que de nous laisser dépérir ici ».

    https://orientxxi.info/magazine/migrants-en-libye-les-oublies-de-l-exil,3460
    #Libye #asile #migrations #réfugiés #réfugiés_érythréens #santé #maladie #externalisation

    –-----

    Et pour la liste de @sinehebdo, deux nouveaux #mots : #Dollars et #Euros

    Les migrants érythréens sont particulièrement ciblés, car beaucoup de trafiquants libyens croient qu’ils peuvent compter sur l’aide d’une riche diaspora en Europe et en Amérique du Nord. « Nous sommes les plus pauvres, mais les Libyens pensent que nous sommes riches. Ils nous appellent Dollars et Euros », me raconte un autre migrant.

    #terminologie #vocabulaire

    • Libye : que se passe-t-il dans le « #centre_d’investigations » de #Tripoli ?

      La semaine dernière, environ 300 migrants interceptés en mer par les garde-côtes libyens ont été transférés dans le centre de #Sharah_Zawiya, au sud de la capitale libyenne. Ouvert depuis au moins un an – avec une fermeture de quelques mois fin 2019 – le lieu est depuis peu contrôlé par le #DCIM et accessible à l’Organisation internationale des migrations (#OIM).

      #Centre_de_détention « caché », #centre_de_transit ou centre « d’investigations » ? Le centre de Sharah Zawiya, dans le sud de Tripoli, est l’objet d’interrogations pour nombre d’observateurs des questions migratoires en Libye.

      Selon l’Organisation internationale des migrations (OIM), contactée par InfoMigrants, le lieu est supposé être un centre de transit : les migrants interceptés en mer sont envoyés dans cette structure afin d’y subir un interrogatoire avant leur transfert vers un centre de détention officiel.

      « Théoriquement, ils [les migrants] ne restent pas plus de 48 heures à Sharah Zawiya », précise l’OIM.

      « Je suis resté au moins trois mois dans ce centre »

      Or plusieurs migrants, avec qui InfoMigrants est en contact et qui sont passés par ce centre, affirment avoir été enfermés plus que deux jours et disent n’avoir jamais été interrogés. « Je suis resté au moins trois mois là-bas l’été dernier, avant de réussir à m’en échapper », indique Ali, un Guinéen de 18 ans qui vit toujours en Libye. « Durant toute cette période, on ne m’a posé aucune question ».

      Ce dernier explique qu’à leur arrivée, les gardiens dépouillent les migrants. « Ils prennent tout ce qu’on a, le plus souvent nos téléphones et de l’argent ». Ibrahim, un Guinéen de 17 ans qui a – lui aussi - réussi à s’échapper du centre ce week-end après avoir été intercepté en mer, raconte la même histoire. « Ils m’ont forcé à leur donner mon téléphone et les 100 euros que j’avais sur moi », soupire-t-il.

      Ali assure également que les Libyens demandent une #rançon pour sortir du centre, avoisinant les 3 000 dinars libyens (environ 1 950 euros). « Un monsieur, un Africain, nous amenait des téléphones pour qu’on contacte nos familles et qu’on leur demande de l’argent. Un autre, un Arabe, récupérait la somme due ». Il détaille également les #coups portés sur les migrants « sans aucune raison » et le #rationnement_de_la_nourriture – « un morceau de pain pour trois personnes le matin, et un plat de pâtes pour six le soir ».

      D’après des informations recueillies et vérifiées par InfoMigrants, le centre est ouvert depuis au moins un an et a fermé quelques mois fin 2019 avant de rouvrir la semaine dernière avec l’arrivée d’environ 300 migrants. Un changement de chefferie à la tête du centre serait à l’origine de cette fermeture temporaire.

      Changement d’organisation ?

      Ce changement de responsable a-t-il été accompagné d’un changement de fonctionnement ? Ali explique qu’il s’est enfui vers le mois d’octobre, après trois mois de détention, avec l’aide de l’ancienne équipe. « Les Libyens qui contrôlaient le centre nous ont dit de partir car un nouveau chef devait arriver. L’ancien et le nouveau responsable n’étaient d’ailleurs pas d’accord entre eux, à tel point que leurs équipes ont tirés les uns sur les autres pendant que nous prenions la fuite ».
      L’OIM signale de son côté n’avoir reçu l’autorisation d’entrer dans le centre que depuis la semaine dernière. « Avant, le lieu était géré par le ministère de l’Intérieur, mais depuis quelques jours c’est le DCIM [le département de lutte contre la migration illégale, NDLR] qui a repris le contrôle », explique l’agence onusienne à InfoMigrants.

      Ibrahim assure, lui, qu’aucune somme d’argent n’a été demandée par les gardiens pour quitter le centre. Les personnes interceptées en mer, mardi 18 février, ont en revanche été transférées samedi vers le centre de détention de #Zaouia, où une rançon de 2 000 dinars (environ 1 300 euros) leur a été réclamée pour pouvoir en sortir.
      Ce genre de centre n’est pas une exception en Libye, prévient une source qui souhaite garder l’anonymat. « Il existe d’autres centres de ce type en Libye où on ne sait pas vraiment ce qu’il s’y passe. Et de toute façon, #centre_d’investigation, de transit ou de détention c’est pareil. Les migrants y sont toujours détenus de manière arbitraire pour une période indéfinie ».

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/22991/libye-que-se-passe-t-il-dans-le-centre-d-investigations-de-tripoli
      #Zawiya #IOM #détention

  • UNHCR in Libya Part 1 : From standing #WithRefugees to standing #WithStates ?

    October 3rd is a day upon which the UNHCR “remember and commemorate all the victims of immigration and promote awareness-raising and solidarity initiatives.”

    With that very sentiment in mind, Euronews has undertaken an investigation into the UNHCR’s operation in Libya, where tens of thousands of migrants live in detainment camps, hoping to make it to Europe.

    We uncover the extent of neglect in terms of care that can be found where migrants wait to be processed. We ask why the UN’s humanitarian agency cannot have the required access in Libya when the mother organisation - The United Nations - is working with the Tripoli-based government. We ask why there is a severe lack of transparency surrounding the agency’s operation and we talk to some of the migrants involved in the process and allow them to tell their stories.


    https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/02/unhcr-in-libya-part-1-from-standing-withrefugees-to-standing-withstates
    #Libye #HCR #UNCHR #responsabilité #camps_de_réfugiés #réfugiés #asile #migrations #ONU #nations_unies #transparence #droits_humains #droits_fondamentaux #réinstallation #inefficacité #argent #financement #aide_humanitaire #indépendance

    ping @isskein @karine4 @reka

    • UNHCR in Libya Part 2 : Migrants in detention centres : ’Why does UNHCR want to keep us in prison ?’

      In this, the second part of our four-part investigation into the UNHCR’s operation in Libya, we talk to those migrants actually involved in the registration and detainment process. They tell Euronews their stories.

      Despite increased EU funding to the Libyan coastguard, and an Italian memorandum of understanding with the DCIM (the body responsible for running migrant detention centres) no effective provision has been made by the EU to implement migrants’ human rights and living conditions in Libya.

      The migrant experience in the embattled North African nation is deteriorating. Many people in that position who spoke to Euronews have reported abuses after being thrown into detention centres with the hope of being registered by UNHCR. Testimonies include instances of torture, rape and extortion at the hands of local militias and when this leads to an attempt to cross the Mediterranean sea, reports also detail how they have been intercepted by the Libyan coastguards and automatically re-incarcerated into the detention centres.

      “It has become an infinite, terrible circle from which there is no way out”, Julien Raickman, head of the MSF-France’s Libyan operation, told The Times.

      UNHCR’s main mission in Libya is to register migrants and find a solution to get them out of the country. However, as Raickman adds, “the resettlement procedure is totally blocked”.


      https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/02/unhcr-in-libya-part-2-migrants-in-detention-centres-why-does-unhcr-want-to
      #centres_de_détention #détention #Qasr_Bin_Gashir #Zintan #Az-Zāwiyah #Abu_Salim ##Az-Zawiyah

    • UNHCR in Libya Part 3: Former staffer blows whistle on favouritism and ’culture of impunity’

      Libya’s United Nations Refugee Agency has been branded “the worst in the region” by a former staff member who has alleged corruption, mismanagement and incompetence in its dealings with tens of thousands of vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers.

      The former staff member, who spoke to Euronews on condition of anonymity, painted an image of an agency overstretched and out of its depth, with asylum seekers left homeless, deprived of medical care and in legal limbo in an increasingly violent and unstable Libya.

      Migrants and refugees on the ground told Euronews that they had even bribed their way into Libya’s notorious detention centres in an effort to speed up their asylum claims. There they face exploitation at the hands of militia groups, which run the centres in all but name.

      The former staff member described a chaotic infrastructure at UNHCR, where he worked for several years, with asylum seekers registered under incorrect nationalities and others forced to wait for months to hear the status of their applications.

      Meanwhile, questions about UNHCR in Libya have stretched to procurement. An internal audit found that the agency had purchased laptop computers at inflated prices (eight laptops for just under $50,000) and used two travel agents to purchase almost $200,000 worth of flight tickets. The audit also notes that “no competitive bidding was conducted for the travel services” (sect. D of OIOS report 2019/007).
      Medical care

      Euronews has spoken to dozens of asylum seekers on the ground in Libya, including a man suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis. Asyas, 30, was discharged from the hospital by a UN medical partner, the International Medical Corps (IMC), and was now living in a private home in Tripoli.

      “I’m just waiting to die,” he told us.

      A medical source in Tripoli said that the hospitalisation of migrants and refugees - especially those cases with tuberculosis - is expensive, and some public hospitals lack the equipment to correctly diagnose the cases.

      As a result, NGOs have to find a balance between paying very high bills to private hospitals or discharging patients too early, the source concludes.

      The IMC told Euronews it cannot comment on the case.

      The feeling on the streets is one of abandonment by international institutions. Asylum seekers in urban areas believe that the UN agency will be there to help them find accommodation for example but the UNHCR are not obligated to do so.

      In one case, a group of Sudanese refugees – including expectant mothers and newborn babies - have been living for several months in an abandoned warehouse in an area of Tripoli known as al-Riyadiya.

      The group were since evicted from the warehouse and are now sleeping in front the UNHCR community day centre, waiting to be moved to safer housing.

      Commenting on the experiences Euronews uncovered, a spokesperson for the UNHCR, Charlie Yaxley, said: “Life for many refugees is extremely difficult and what we can do is at times very limited.”
      Libya in the eye of the storm

      Libya has been at the forefront of the migrant crisis and is the embarkation point for many boats that attempt to cross the Mediterranean to Italy.

      Libya’s lawlessness since the 2011 war that followed the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi has seen the rise of numerous militia groups, all competing for a piece of the lucrative migrant trade.

      A large part of that trade is the operation of detention centres, officially run by the government but effectively controlled by militia groups. Asylum seekers detained in Libya are held at the centres, where they are often subject to abuse and violence.

      The conditions at detention centres has got so bad that the UNHCR prioritise the processing of refugees and migrants that are held in them - as they are considered among the most vulnerable. This has led to asylum seekers actually bribing their way into centres, sources say.

      In December, migrants and refugees detained in Khoms Suq al-Khamis started a hunger strike to persuade UNHCR to visit the centre and register them in the hope that this might stop them from being sold and disappeared.

      Amina, a Somali refugee now in Triq al-Sikka facility in Tripoli confirmed to Euronews that she paid money to be “accepted into detention and have a better chance to be registered and evacuated".

      The former UN staff member detailed one case where he claims a pregnant rape victim had opted to return to a detention centre in order to be considered for evacuation.

      At the Abu Salim detention centre, Eritrean refugees have been begging the detention centre manager to admit them, with the sole hope of being evacuated.

      Others are paying to get themselves in to the UNHCR’s Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF) - managed by the Libyan Ministry of Interior, UNHCR and UNHCR’s partner LibAid - in Tripoli, where refugees are normally hosted until their transfer to another state is confirmed.

      There, one refugee awaiting evacuation told Euronews: “The guards who are working at the gate, brought inside Somalian and Eritrean women; they paid 2000 dinars (around 430€) each. We told this to UNHCR, and they asked us not to tell anyone”.

      Commenting on the allegations, Yaxley said: “UNHCR takes any claims of misconduct very seriously. Any claim that is found to be valid following an investigation is followed by a zero tolerance approach. We strongly encourage any victims to directly contact our Inspector General’s Office.”.
      Lack of information

      Aside from bribery, the former employee said that the fate of individual asylum seekers and their families in Libya largely relies on luck.

      “It’s up to the office,” the source said.

      “At the beginning of 2019, the UNHCR registered a woman from Ivory Coast (which is not among the 9 nationalities that are prioritised according to Cochetel), only because there was a recommendation letter from a higher rank.

      “Sometimes you may wait months to register a case because no one will give you approval; there are cases of favouritism and a lazy attitude. All registration processes are unclear.”

      Many refugees and asylum seekers in Tripoli complained to Euronews about the lack of information available to them about their personal case. The former employee said that this is part of a strategy at the agency in order to avoid having to deal with the huge amount of admin involved.

      “It’s a general attitude not to answer refugees and keep them blind to avoid more requests. In Tripoli, refugees or asylum seekers are left without a clue. They don’t know if they are accepted or rejected.

      “They receive very little information about their file and most of the time, no proper update about the process, or in case they have to appeal if their request has been rejected.”

      The source said that since September 2017 there is no system in place to appeal against rejection on their refugee status, and asylum seekers don’t know they have the right to appeal the decision within 30 days.

      One family from Nigeria, now detained in Az-Zāwiyah detention centre, described their experience.

      “The first time we managed to meet UNHCR was secretly in Tarik Al Matar centre in July 2018. Since that time UNHCR is refusing to register us. When we try to ask about our cases they kept telling us later, next time, next time,” the father said.

      “Sometimes they avoid us totally. Once, UNHCR has even advised us to return home. My youngest girl has been born in detention and the eldest have some traumatic effects due to a whole lot of horrible stuff they’ve experienced.”

      Meanwhile the situation in Libya is only likely to get worse, with a bottleneck in some states like Niger slowing down the evacuation plan from Libya.

      There are currently 1,174 evacuees from Libya staying in Niger, including 192 evacuated unaccompanied children, according to UNHCR. With the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) at full capacity, many cases are still pending a decision.

      “The Government of Niger has generously offered additional space for up to 1,500 refugees in the Emergency Transit Mechanism run by UNHCR in Niamey with financial support from the European Union,” writes Cochetel in May 2018.

      Mistakes

      To make the situation worse, according to the former employee, many mistakes have been made including nationalities wrongly assigned to individuals.

      “UNHCR was registering Chadians as Sudanese, or Ethiopians as Eritreans. The UNHCR staff in Libya was not qualified to properly understand the situation,” the source said.

      Commenting on that claim, Yaxley said: “UNHCR staff are selected through the same processes as in all other operations worldwide, following human resources rules. There are over 100 national staff working in Libya. UNHCR does not work with external contractors.”

      The aforementioned concentration on nine specified nationalities was put in place in order to keep numbers down, the former staff member said.

      Libya’s Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior for Migration, Mohammed Al-Shibani, said that on the contrary the Libyan government is not refusing to register other nationalities. “The nationalities are determined by the UN not by us,” he said.

      Procurement

      On issues with procurement, the former staff member points Euronews at the internal UN audit of the operations in Libya, which found that UNHCR designated procurements to 12 partners worth $4.7 million and $4.0 million in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

      But the mission “did not conduct any cost-benefit analysis”, opting instead for direct procurement “despite the significant differences between official and market exchange rates.

      In 2017 and 2018, “the mission designated procurement exceeding $100,000 to three partners without them being pre-qualified by the Procurement Service at headquarters”. A lack of procurement plans resulted in ’’unnecessary and higher” costs.

      For example, the audit found a transaction for eight laptops with total expenditure of $47,067 (equivalent to a unit cost per laptop of $5,883). Moreover, flight tickets amounting to $128,000 and $66,000 during 2017 and 2018 were bought from two different travel agencies without any clear process for selection, as mentioned in the audit and confirmed by a former UN source.

      “The mission was unable to demonstrate it used its resources effectively and efficiently in providing for the essential needs of persons of concern. The lack of reporting also increased UNHCR’s reputational risk”, reads the audit.

      https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/03/unhcr-in-libya-part-3-former-staffer-blows-whistle-on-favouritism-and-cult
      #impunité

    • UNHCR in Libya Part 4: The detention centres - the map and the stories

      When NGO workers arrived at the Janzoor detention centre in Libya in October 2018 to collect 11 unaccompanied minors due to be returned to their country of origin, they were shocked to find that the young people had completely disappeared.

      The failed asylum seekers were registered and ready to go, a staff member at the International Organisation of Migration, who wished to remain anonymous, told Euronews. It took six months to find out what had happened to the group.

      “They were sold and their families were asked for ransom”, the former staff member said.

      In February 2019, the Libyan government revealed that there were 23 detention centres operating in Libya, holding over 5,000 asylum seekers. While they are officially run by the government, in reality it is Libya’s complex patchwork of militias that are in control.

      Even those ostensibly run by Libya’s Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM) are effectively under the control of whichever armed group controls the neighbourhood where a centre is located.
      Rule of militias

      Militias, also known as “katibas”, are de-facto in control of the gates of the centres and the management. In many cases, migrants and refugees are under arrest in locations which are not considered official detention facilities, but “holding places” for investigation.

      By correct protocol, they should be sent to proper detention facilities, but in reality procedures are seldom respected and asylum seekers are detained with no legal review or rights.

      For many migrants and refugees, the ordeal begins at sea.

      According to the Libyan coast guard, from January to August 2019, nearly 6,000 people were intercepted and brought back to Libya.

      On September 19, a man from Sudan died after being shot in the stomach hours after being returned to shore.

      The IOM, whose staff witnessed the attack, said it occurred at Abusitta disembarkation point in Tripoli, when 103 people that had been returned to shore were resisting being sent back to detention centres.

      IOM staff who were on the scene, reported that armed men began shooting in the air when several migrants tried to run away from their guards.

      “The death is a stark reminder of the grim conditions faced by migrants picked up by the Coast Guard after paying smugglers to take them to Europe, only to find themselves put into detention centres” said IOM Spokesperson Leonard Doyle.

      With conflict escalating in Tripoli and many detention centres located on the frontline, the majority of the people intercepted by Libyan coast guards are brought to al-Khoms, a coastal city 120km east of the Libyan capital.

      Tortured, sold, and released

      According to UN sources, guards at the city’s two detention facilities - al-Khoms and Souq al-Khamis - have either facilitated access to the militias or were afraid to deny them access.

      “Let me be honest with you, I don’t trust anyone in al-Khoms centre,” a former DCIM official told Euronews.

      “The detention centre has been officially closed by the DCIM but the militia there do whatever they want and they don’t respect the orders given by the Ministry of Interior.

      “People have been tortured, sold and released after paying money. The management and the militia in al-Khoms, they act independently from the government”.

      Last June, during the protection sector coordination meeting in Tripoli, UN agencies and international organisations raised the question of people disappearing on a daily basis.

      “In one week at least 100 detainees disappeared and despite the closure of the centre, the Libyan coast guard continued to bring refugees to al-Khoms detention centre” according to a note of the meeting seen by Euronews.

      The head of an international organisation present at the meeting, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “Many organisations have been turning their back on the situation, as they were not visiting the centre anymore.

      “19 people from Eritrea were at risk, including young ladies between 14 and 19 years old”.

      During a press briefing last June, the spokesman for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, reported that women held in detention have been sold into sexual exploitation.

      David, a migrant who had been detained in Misrata detention centre was able to get out after transiting from a safe house in al-Khoms. He said that centre staff “had been extorting money from detainees for months.

      “I didn’t have a choice as the UN refused to register me because I come from Central African Republic and my nationality is not among the one recognised by UNHCR.”

      Detention centres are still open

      In August 2019, Libyan authorities in Tripoli confirmed the shutdown of three detention centres in Misrata, Khoms and Tajoura, but DCIM officers and migrants held in detention confirmed to Euronews that the centres are still open.

      While it is impossible to independently verify the current status of the facilities - as as the Ministry of Interior in Tripoli does not authorise access to them - Euronews was able to speak on the phone with detainees.

      “Just bring a letter with the authorisation from the Ministry of Interior and I will let you enter,” said one commander from Tajoura on the phone, confirming that the centre was still running.

      Another source at the DCIM in Tripoli mentioned that Tajoura was still running and the militia was mainly arresting people from street to fill the hangars again.

      The decision to close the Az-Zāwiyah detention centre - mentioned in PART 1 and 2 - was taken in April 2018 by former head of DCIM Colonel Mohamed Besher. But the centre has instead been transformed into an arrest and investigation centre.

      Located at the Az-Zāwiyah Refinery, which is secured by Al-Nasser brigade since 2011, it is close to the base of the Az-Zāwiyah coastguard

      Both the commander of the Libyan Coast Guard’s Unit and the head of Al-Nasr brigade are sanctioned by UN and the United States for alleged involvement in human trafficking and migrant smuggling.

      Mohammed Kushlaf is working in cooperation with “Osama” (➡️ SEE PART 2), who is in charge of the detention facility. His name appears 67 times in the recent investigation conducted by Italian prosecutor Luigi Patronaggio.

      ‘Inhumane conditions’

      The investigation had “confirmed the inhumane conditions” endured by many migrants and “the need to act, at an international level, to protect their most basic human rights.”

      The Government of National Accord has supported the UN sanctions and issued public statements of condemnation against the trafficking and smuggling of migrants.

      The Libyan prosecutor has also issued an order to suspend the commander of the Libyan Coast Guard and bring him into custody for investigations, although this was never implemented, confirmed a Libyan lawyer working at the Ministry of Justice.

      Sources at the DCIM mentioned that between September 2018 and April 2019 - when the Libyan National Army (LNA) troops guided by the general Khalifa Haftar seized Tripoli’s southern suburbs – many detention centres were located near the clashes.

      Salaheddin, Ain Zara, Qasr Bin Ghashir and Tariq Al Matar detention centres have been closed because of the conflict.

      As a result, large groups of refugees and migrants have been displaced or transferred to other locations. A DCIM officer in Tripoli mentioned that “The Tariq Al Matar centre was in the middle of the clashes and many refugees left to find safety in other areas after a few people were injured. A group was transferred to Ain Zara and another to Janzour detention centre, some 20 kilometres southwest of Tripoli’s centre.”

      Migrants being recruited to help militia in Libya’s civil war

      In September and several times in December and January, refugees say they were forced to move and pack weapons as fighting between rival armed groups in the capital of Tripoli flared up.

      They also engaged directly with local militia, from the Tripoli suburb of Tarhouna, that was controlling Qasr Bin Ghashir detention centre at the time.

      “No one was fighting on the front but they would ask us to open and close the gate and move and pack weapons”, said Musa, a Sudanese refugee who left Qasr Bin Ghashir in April following the attack.

      On October 2, Abdalmajed Adam, a refugee from South Sudan was also injured by a random bullet on his shoulder and was taken to a military hospital,” adds Musa.

      The militia who is controlling the area where Abu Salim detention centre is located is known as Ghaniwa and is aligned to the GNA.

      The group has been asking refugees, especially Sudanese – as they speak Arabic - to follow them to the frontline.

      “Last August they bought us to Wadi Al-Rabea in southern Tripoli, and asked us to load weapons. I was one of them. They took five of us from the centre,” said Amir, a Sudanese asylum seeker who is detained in Abu Salim.

      A former DCIM officer confirmed that in June 2018, the head of Abu Salim DCIM, Mohamed al-Mashay (aka Abu Azza), was killed by an armed group following internal disputes over power.

      The Qasr Bin Ghashir detention centre, in which 700 people were locked up, was attacked on April 23. Video and photographic evidence shows refugees and migrants trapped in detention having incurred gunshot wounds.

      Multiple reports suggested several deaths and at least 12 people injured. A former DCIM officer mentioned that behind the attack there was a dispute over the control of the territory: it is a very strategic point being the main road to enter to Tripoli.


      https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/03/unhcr-in-libya-part-4-the-detention-centres-the-map-and-the-stories

      #torture #traite_d'êtres_humains #cartographie #visualisation #localisation

  • Guards accused of rape and #torture of migrants arrested in Italy

    Exploitation, extortion and murder allegedly took place in Libyan detention centre.

    Three men accused of torturing and raping refugees and migrants in Libya have been arrested in Italy. They include a 22-year-old Guinean man and two Egyptians, aged 24 and 26.

    A 37-page report, written by the prosecutor’s office in Palermo and seen by The Irish Times, documents allegations of sexual and labour exploitation, extortion and murder. It says the abuse took place inside Zawiya detention centre, in Libya’s northwest.

    The men were identified by dozens of refugees and migrants, who eventually crossed the Mediterranean to safety in Europe.

    The Irish Times is in contact with refugees still being held in detention in Zawiya, who welcomed the arrests but say torture and abuse is ongoing.

    “People are still tortured, beaten, [made into] slaves and sold like a goat,” one man messaged on Monday, using a hidden phone. “It’s clear how many prisoners are dead from secret torture and poor medication, even [a] lack of nutrients, food. We hear in the middle [of the] night noisy screaming sometimes in the locked hanger.”

    He said at least 20 detainees had recently been sold back to traffickers. “This place is the most dangerous,” he said.

    In one incident, when people tried to escape, the guards opened fire on them, he said. One man was shot dead while another was badly wounded.

    The refugee’s testimony has repeatedly been confirmed by other sources.

    In April, the UN Refugee Agency and the International Organisation for Migration moved 325 migrants and refugees from Qasr bin Ghashir detention centre in Tripoli to a detention centre in Zawiya, saying it had evacuated them to safety.
    Ineffectiveness

    UNHCR has repeatedly been criticised by other aid workers, who accuse the agency of downplaying the scale of abuse and its own ineffectiveness to secure funding from the European Union.

    For 2½ years, the EU has been supporting the Libyan coast guard to intercept boats on the Mediterranean and forcibly return refugees and migrants to Libya, where they are detained indefinitely in conditions that have been condemned by human rights groups.

    Refugees and migrants who arrived in Zawiya in April said they were immediately met with threats and aggression by management and armed guards, and told how they would only see sunlight again after they paid substantial amounts of money.

    Meanwhile, on Saturday, 82 refugees and migrants disembarked in Italy after they were saved off the Libyan coast by the Ocean Viking boat. This is the first time this year an NGO ship has been allowed disembark rescued people there, and marks a reversal of the country’s anti-immigration policies enforced by former far-right interior minister Matteo Salvini under its new ruling coalition.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/africa/guards-accused-of-rape-and-torture-of-migrants-arrested-in-italy-1.40201
    #Libye #arrestation #Italie #migrations #asile #réfugiés #viol #centres_de_détention #détention #prisons #assassinat #exploitation #Italie

    • Inchiesta. #Ossama_il_libico, ecco chi è «il più spietato di tutti con i migranti»

      Per la prima volta fotografato il boss dei trafficanti. I carcerieri prendono ordini da lui. Una scia di omicidi e prevaricazioni di ogni tipo ai danni dei profughi. Arrestati in Sicilia tre complici

      Dicono di lui: «Il più spietato». È Ossama, il libico. O almeno così dice di chiamarsi. Nessuno era mai riuscito a fotografare il capo torturatore del vasto campo di prigionia di #Zawyah, tranne un giovane subsahariano che ha tenuto con sé l’immagine del suo aguzzino.

      La foto è stata consegnata a un avvocato di Londra e potrebbe dare una spinta all’inchiesta sulle violenze subite nei lager libici. Il nome di Ossama ricorre per settanta volte nelle 37 pagine dell’ordinanza con cui i magistrati siciliani hanno fatto arrestare pochi giorni fa tre complici fuggiti in Italia.

      I racconti dei sopravvissuti sono voci scampate agli spettri che ogni notte si davano il cambio addosso alle ragazze. Libici, egiziani, migranti promossi kapò, come nei campi di concentramento quando a un deportato veniva affidata il comando sugli altri prigionieri.

      «Tutti hanno riferito di una struttura associativa organizzata, indicando il suo capo, Ossama, e spesso fornendo l’organigramma dell’associazione – si legge nell’ordinanza della procura di Palermo –, ovviamente nei limiti in cui gli stessi prigionieri potevano rendersi conto del numero di sodali addetti alla struttura di prigionia e dei loro rispettivi ruoli». Materiale buono anche per gli investigatori del Tribunale internazionale dell’Aia, che tra poco più di un mese diffonderanno un rapporto aggiornato sull’inferno libico.

      «Dalle nostre fonti in loco – spiega Giulia Tranchina, legale per Diritti Umani dello studio Wilson di Londra – sappiamo che le torture continuano ancora in questi giorni e che nessuna svolta c’è stata per questi profughi che continuano a subire abusi, tanto più che le organizzazioni internazionali non sono messe in grado neanche di registrare tempestivamente, dunque è più facile per «Ossama» rivenderle ad altri gruppi di trafficanti senza lasciare alcuna traccia».

      Uno dei testimoni ha parlato così di Ossama: «Picchiava, torturava chiunque, utilizzando anche una frusta. A causa delle torture praticate Ossama si è reso responsabile di due omicidi di due migranti del Camerun, i quali sono morti a causa delle ferite non curate. Anche io, inauditamente e senza alcun pretesto, sono stato più volte picchiato e torturato da Ossama con dei tubi di gomma. Tanti altri migranti subivano torture e sevizie di ogni tipo». C’è chi lo ricorda come «una persona adulta, muscolosa, con ampia stempiatura». Ai suoi diretti ordini «vi erano tanti carcerieri».

      La polizia di Agrigento ha interrogato separatamente i migranti transitati da Zawyah e salvati nello scorso luglio dalla barca a vela Alex, della piattaforma italiana “Mediterranea”. Tutte le testimonianze concordano sul ruolo e le responsabilità di Ossama e dei suoi scagnozzi.

      Quando i magistrati di Agrigento, che poi hanno trasmesso per competenza gli atti ai colleghi di Palermo, raccoglievano fonti di prova e testimonianze non sapevano che anche il segretario generale delle Nazioni Unite, Antonio Guterres, aveva ricevuto e raccolto informazioni analoghe. A cominciare dalla vendita dei migranti da parte della polizia libica. «Un giorno, nel mese di luglio 2018, io e mia moglie – ha raccontato un uomo catturato e seviziato con la moglie – ci trovavamo a Zuara (non lontano da Zawyah, ndr). In quell’occasione venivamo avvistati e avvicinati da due libici, in uniforme, i quali ci hanno poi venduto al trafficante Ossama». Ad accordo fatto, «i due libici ci hanno condotto direttamente nella prigione gestita proprio da Ossama, a Zawyiah, in un’ex base militare».

      L’avvocato Tranchina, che nello studio di legali londinesi specializzati nella difesa dei Diritti umani ha vinto numerose battaglie nei tribunali del Regno, continua a ricevere filmati e immagini che tagliano il respiro.

      Alcuni sono recentissimi e documentano il fallimento di ogni accordo tra le autorità libiche e gli organismi internazionali. Diversi migranti raccontano di essere stati feriti durante le sessioni di tortura, non di rado a colpi di arma da fuoco, e poi nascosti lontano dalle prigioni durante le ispezioni concesse alla mmissione Onu in Libia.

      https://www.avvenire.it/attualita/pagine/libia-ossama-lo-spietato-coi-migranti

  • Call immigrant detention centers what they really are: concentration camps

    If you were paying close attention last week, you might have spotted a pattern in the news. Peeking out from behind the breathless coverage of the Trump family’s tuxedoed trip to London was a spate of deaths of immigrants in U.S. custody: Johana Medina Léon, a 25-year-old transgender asylum seeker; an unnamed 33-year-old Salvadoran man; and a 40-year-old woman from Honduras.

    Photos from a Border Patrol processing center in El Paso showed people herded so tightly into cells that they had to stand on toilets to breathe. Memos surfaced by journalist Ken Klippenstein revealed that Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s failure to provide medical care was responsible for suicides and other deaths of detainees. These followed another report that showed that thousands of detainees are being brutally held in isolation cells just for being transgender or mentally ill.

    Also last week, the Trump administration cut funding for classes, recreation and legal aid at detention centers holding minors — which were likened to “summer camps” by a senior ICE official last year. And there was the revelation that months after being torn from their parents’ arms, 37 children were locked in vans for up to 39 hours in the parking lot of a detention center outside Port Isabel, Texas. In the last year, at least seven migrant children have died in federal custody.

    Preventing mass outrage at a system like this takes work. Certainly it helps that the news media covers these horrors intermittently rather than as snowballing proof of a racist, lawless administration. But most of all, authorities prevail when the places where people are being tortured and left to die stay hidden, misleadingly named and far from prying eyes.

    There’s a name for that kind of system. They’re called concentration camps. You might balk at my use of the term. That’s good — it’s something to be balked at.

    The goal of concentration camps has always been to be ignored. The German-Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt, who was imprisoned by the Gestapo and interned in a French camp, wrote a few years afterward about the different levels of concentration camps. Extermination camps were the most extreme; others were just about getting “undesirable elements … out of the way.” All had one thing in common: “The human masses sealed off in them are treated as if they no longer existed, as if what happened to them were no longer of interest to anybody, as if they were already dead.”

    Euphemisms play a big role in that forgetting. The term “concentration camp” is itself a euphemism. It was invented by a Spanish official to paper over his relocation of millions of rural families into squalid garrison towns where they would starve during Cuba’s 1895 independence war. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered Japanese Americans into prisons during World War II, he initially called them concentration camps. Americans ended up using more benign names, like “Manzanar Relocation Center.”

    Even the Nazis’ camps started out small, housing criminals, Communists and opponents of the regime. It took five years to begin the mass detention of Jews. It took eight, and the outbreak of a world war, for the first extermination camps to open. Even then, the Nazis had to keep lying to distract attention, claiming Jews were merely being resettled to remote work sites. That’s what the famous signs — Arbeit Macht Frei, or “Work Sets You Free” — were about.

    Subterfuge doesn’t always work. A year ago, Americans accidentally became aware that the Trump administration had adopted (and lied about) a policy of ripping families apart at the border. The flurry of attention was thanks to the viral conflation of two separate but related stories: the family-separation order and bureaucrats’ admission that they’d been unable to locate thousands of migrant children who’d been placed with sponsors after crossing the border alone.

    Trump shoved that easily down the memory hole. He dragged his heels a bit, then agreed to a new policy: throwing whole families into camps together. Political reporters posed irrelevant questions, like whether President Obama had been just as bad, and what it meant for the midterms. Then they moved on.

    It is important to note that Trump’s aides have built this system of racist terror on something that has existed for a long time. Several camps opened under Obama, and as president he deported millions of people.

    But Trump’s game is different. It certainly isn’t about negotiating immigration reform with Congress. Trump has made it clear that he wants to stifle all non-white immigration, period. His mass arrests, iceboxes and dog cages are part of an explicitly nationalist project to put the country under the control of the right kind of white people.

    As a Republican National Committee report noted in 2013: “The nation’s demographic changes add to the urgency of recognizing how precarious our position has become.” The Trump administration’s attempt to put a citizenship question on the 2020 census was also just revealed to have been a plot to disadvantage political opponents and boost “Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites” all along.

    That’s why this isn’t just a crisis facing immigrants. When a leader puts people in camps to stay in power, history shows that he doesn’t usually stop with the first group he detains.

    There are now at least 48,000 people detained in ICE facilities, which a former official told BuzzFeed News “could swell indefinitely.” Customs and Border Protection officials apprehended more than 144,000 people on the Southwest border last month. (The New York Times dutifully reported this as evidence of a “dramatic surge in border crossings,” rather than what it was: The administration using its own surge of arrests to justify the rest of its policies.)

    If we call them what they are — a growing system of American concentration camps — we will be more likely to give them the attention they deserve. We need to know their names: Port Isabel, Dilley, Adelanto, Hutto and on and on. With constant, unrelenting attention, it is possible we might alleviate the plight of the people inside, and stop the crisis from getting worse. Maybe people won’t be able to disappear so easily into the iceboxes. Maybe it will be harder for authorities to lie about children’s deaths.

    Maybe Trump’s concentration camps will be the first thing we think of when we see him scowling on TV.

    The only other option is to leave it up to those in power to decide what’s next. That’s a calculated risk. As Andrea Pitzer, author of “One Long Night,” one of the most comprehensive books on the history of concentration camps, recently noted: “Every country has said their camps are humane and will be different. Trump is instinctively an authoritarian. He’ll take them as far as he’s allowed to.”

    https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-katz-immigrant-concentration-camps-20190609-story.html
    #terminologie #vocabulaire #mots #camps #camps_de_concentration #centres_de_détention #détention_administrative #rétention #USA #Etats-Unis
    #cpa_camps

    • ‘Some Suburb of Hell’: America’s New Concentration Camp System

      On Monday, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez referred to US border detention facilities as “concentration camps,” spurring a backlash in which critics accused her of demeaning the memory of those who died in the Holocaust. Debates raged over a label for what is happening along the southern border and grew louder as the week rolled on. But even this back-and-forth over naming the camps has been a recurrent feature in the mass detention of civilians ever since its inception, a history that long predates the Holocaust.

      At the heart of such policy is a question: What does a country owe desperate people whom it does not consider to be its citizens? The twentieth century posed this question to the world just as the shadow of global conflict threatened for the second time in less than three decades. The dominant response was silence, and the doctrine of absolute national sovereignty meant that what a state did to people under its control, within its borders, was nobody else’s business. After the harrowing toll of the Holocaust with the murder of millions, the world revisited its answer, deciding that perhaps something was owed to those in mortal danger. From the Fourth Geneva Convention protecting civilians in 1949 to the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, the international community established humanitarian obligations toward the most vulnerable that apply, at least in theory, to all nations.

      The twenty-first century is unraveling that response. Countries are rejecting existing obligations and meeting asylum seekers with walls and fences, from detainees fleeing persecution who were sent by Australia to third-party detention in the brutal offshore camps of Manus and Nauru to razor-wire barriers blocking Syrian refugees from entering Hungary. While some nations, such as Germany, wrestle with how to integrate refugees into their labor force—more and more have become resistant to letting them in at all. The latest location of this unwinding is along the southern border of the United States.

      So far, American citizens have gotten only glimpses of the conditions in the border camps that have been opened in their name. In the month of May, Customs and Border Protection reported a total of 132,887 migrants who were apprehended or turned themselves in between ports of entry along the southwest border, an increase of 34 percent from April alone. Upon apprehension, these migrants are temporarily detained by Border Patrol, and once their claims are processed, they are either released or handed over to ICE for longer-term detention. Yet Border Patrol itself is currently holding about 15,000 people, nearly four times what government officials consider to be this enforcement arm’s detention capacity.

      On June 12, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that Fort Sill, an Army post that hosted a World War II internment camp for detainees of Japanese descent, will now be repurposed to detain migrant children. In total, HHS reports that it is currently holding some 12,000 minors. Current law limits detention of minors to twenty days, though Senator Lindsey Graham has proposed expanding the court-ordered limit to 100 days. Since the post is on federal land, it will be exempt from state child welfare inspections.

      In addition to the total of detainees held by Border Patrol, an even higher number is detained at centers around the country by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency: on a typical day at the beginning of this month, ICE was detaining more than 52,500 migrants. The family separation policy outraged the public in the 2018, but despite legal challenges, it never fully ended. Less publicized have been the deaths of twenty-four adults in ICE custody since the beginning of the Trump administration; in addition, six children between the ages of two and sixteen have died in federal custody over the last several months. It’s not clear whether there have been other deaths that have gone unreported.

      Conditions for detainees have not been improving. At the end of May, a Department of Homeland Security inspector general found nearly 900 migrants at a Texas shelter built for a capacity of 125 people. On June 11, a university professor spotted at least 100 men behind chain-link fences near the Paso del Norte Bridge in El Paso, Texas. Those detainees reported sitting outside for weeks in temperatures that soared above 100 degrees. Taylor Levy, an El Paso immigration lawyer, described going into one facility and finding “a suicidal four-year-old whose face was covered in bloody, self-inflicted scratches… Another young child had to be restrained by his mother because he kept running full-speed into metal lockers. He was covered in bruises.”

      If deciding what to do about the growing numbers of adults and children seeking refuge in the US relies on complex humanitarian policies and international laws, in which most Americans don’t take a deep interest, a simpler question also presents itself: What exactly are these camps that the Trump administration has opened, and where is this program of mass detention headed?

      Even with incomplete information about what’s happening along the border today and what the government plans for these camps, history points to some conclusions about their future. Mass detention without trial earned a new name and a specific identity at the end of the nineteenth century. The labels then adopted for the practice were “reconcentración” and “concentration camps”—places of forced relocation of civilians into detention on the basis of group identity.

      Other kinds of group detention had appeared much earlier in North American history. The US government drove Native Americans from their homelands into prescribed exile, with death and detention in transit camps along the way. Some Spanish mission systems in the Americas had accomplished similar ends by seizing land and pressing indigenous people into forced labor. During the 245 years when slavery was legal in the US, detention was one of its essential features.

      Concentration camps, however, don’t typically result from the theft of land, as happened with Native Americans, or owning human beings in a system of forced labor, as in the slave trade. Exile, theft, and forced labor can come later, but in the beginning, detention itself is usually the point of concentration camps. By the end of the nineteenth century, the mass production of barbed wire and machines guns made this kind of detention possible and practical in ways it never had been before.

      Under Spanish rule in 1896, the governor-general of Cuba instituted camps in order to clear rebel-held regions during an uprising, despite his predecessor’s written refusal “as the representative of a civilized nation, to be the first to give the example of cruelty and intransigence” that such detention would represent. After women and children began dying in vast numbers behind barbed wire because there had been little planning for shelter and even less for food, US President William McKinley made his call to war before Congress. He spoke against the policy of reconcentración, calling it warfare by uncivilized means. “It was extermination,” McKinley said. “The only peace it could beget was that of the wilderness and the grave.” Without full records, the Cuban death toll can only be estimated, but a consensus puts it in the neighborhood of 150,000, more than 10 percent of the island’s prewar population.

      Today, we remember the sinking of the USS Maine as the spark that ignited the Spanish-American War. But war correspondent George Kennan (cousin of the more famous diplomat) believed that “it was the suffering of the reconcentrados, more, perhaps, than any other one thing that brought about the intervention of the United States.” On April 25, 1898, Congress declared war. Two weeks later, US Marines landed at Fisherman’s Point on the windward side of the entrance to Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. After a grim, week-long fight, the Marines took the hill. It became a naval base, and the United States has never left that patch of land.

      As part of the larger victory, the US inherited the Philippines. The world’s newest imperial power also inherited a rebellion. Following a massacre of American troops at Balangiga in September 1901, during the third year of the conflict, the US established its own concentration camp system. Detainees, mostly women and children, were forced into squalid conditions that one American soldier described in a letter to a US senator as “some suburb of hell.” In the space of only four months, more than 11,000 Filipinos are believed to have died in these noxious camps.

      Meanwhile, in southern Africa in 1900, the British had opened their own camps during their battle with descendants of Dutch settlers in the second Boer War. British soldiers filled tent cities with Boer women and children, and the military authorities called them refugee camps. Future Prime Minister David Lloyd George took offense at that name, noting in Parliament: “There is no greater delusion in the mind of any man than to apply the term ‘refugee’ to these camps. They are not refugee camps. They are camps of concentration.” Contemporary observers compared them to the Cuban camps, and criticized their deliberate cruelty. The Bishop of Hereford wrote to The Times of London in 1901, asking: “Are we reduced to such a depth of impotence that our Government can do nothing to stop such a holocaust of child-life?”

      Maggoty meat rations and polluted water supplies joined outbreaks of contagious diseases amid crowded and unhealthy conditions in the Boer camps. More than 27,000 detainees are thought to have died there, nearly 80 percent of them children. The British had opened camps for black Africans as well, in which at least 14,000 detainees died—the real number is probably much higher. Aside from protests made by some missionaries, the deaths of indigenous black Africans did not inspire much public outrage. Much of the history of the suffering in these camps has been lost.

      These early experiments with concentration camps took place on the periphery of imperial power, but accounts of them nevertheless made their way into newspapers and reports in many nations. As a result, the very idea of them came to be seen as barbaric. By the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, the first camp systems had all been closed, and concentration camps had nearly vanished as an institution. Within months of the outbreak of World War I, though, they would be resurrected—this time rising not at the margins but in the centers of power. Between 1914 and 1918, camps were constructed on an unprecedented scale across six continents. In their time, these camps were commonly called concentration camps, though today they are often referred to by the more anodyne term “internment.”

      Those World War I detainees were, for the most part, foreigners—or, in legalese, aliens—and recent anti-immigration legislation in several countries had deliberately limited their rights. The Daily Mail denounced aliens left at liberty once they had registered with their local police department, demanding, “Does signing his name take the malice out of a man?” The Scottish Field was more direct, asking, “Do Germans have souls?” That these civilian detainees were no threat to Britain did not keep them from being demonized, shouted at, and spat upon as they were paraded past hostile crowds in cities like London.

      Though a small number of people were shot in riots in these camps, and hunger became a serious issue as the conflict dragged on, World War I internment would present a new, non-lethal face for the camps, normalizing detention. Even after the war, new camps sprang up from Spain to Hungary and Cuba, providing an improvised “solution” for everything from vagrancy to anxieties over the presence of Jewish foreigners.

      Some of these camps were clearly not safe for those interned. Local camps appeared in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921, after a white mob burned down a black neighborhood and detained African-American survivors. In Bolshevik Russia, the first concentration camps preceded the formation of the Soviet Union in 1922 and planted seeds for the brutal Gulag system that became official near the end of the USSR’s first decade. While some kinds of camps were understood to be harsher, after World War I their proliferation did not initially disturb public opinion. They had yet to take on their worst incarnations.

      In 1933, barely more than a month after Hitler was appointed chancellor, the Nazis’ first, impromptu camp opened in the town of Nohra in central Germany to hold political opponents. Detainees at Nohra were allowed to vote at a local precinct in the elections of March 5, 1933, resulting in a surge of Communist ballots in the tiny town. Locking up groups of civilians without trial had become accepted. Only the later realization of the horrors of the Nazi death camps would break the default assumption by governments and the public that concentration camps could and should be a simple way to manage populations seen as a threat.

      However, the staggering death toll of the Nazi extermination camp system—which was created mid-war and stood almost entirely separate from the concentration camps in existence since 1933—led to another result: a strange kind of erasure. In the decades that followed World War II, the term “concentration camp” came to stand only for Auschwitz and other extermination camps. It was no longer applied to the kind of extrajudicial detention it had denoted for generations. The many earlier camps that had made the rise of Auschwitz possible largely vanished from public memory.

      It is not necessary, however, to step back a full century in American history to find camps with links to what is happening on the US border today. Detention at Guantánamo began in the 1990s, when Haitian and Cuban immigrants whom the government wanted to keep out of the United States were housed there in waves over a four-year period—years before the “war on terror” and the US policy of rendition of suspected “enemy combatants” made Camps Delta, X-Ray, and Echo notorious. Tens of thousands of Haitians fleeing instability at home were picked up at sea and diverted to the Cuban base, to limit their legal right to apply for asylum. The court cases and battles over the suffering of those detainees ended up setting the stage for what Guantánamo would become after September 11, 2001.

      In one case, a federal court ruled that it did have jurisdiction over the base, but the government agreed to release the Haitians who were part of the lawsuit in exchange for keeping that ruling off the books. A ruling in a second case would assert that the courts did not have jurisdiction. Absent the prior case, the latter stood on its own as precedent. Leaving Guantánamo in this gray area made it an ideal site for extrajudicial detention and torture after the twin towers fell.

      This process of normalization, when a bad camp becomes much more dangerous, is not unusual. Today’s border camps are a crueler reflection of long-term policies—some challenged in court—that earlier presidents had enacted. Prior administrations own a share of the responsibility for today’s harsh practices, but the policies in place today are also accompanied by a shameless willingness to publicly target a vulnerable population in increasingly dangerous ways.

      I visited Guantánamo twice in 2015, sitting in the courtroom for pretrial hearings and touring the medical facility, the library, and all the old abandoned detention sites, as well as newly built ones, open to the media—from the kennel-style cages of Camp X-Ray rotting to ruin in the damp heat to the modern jailhouse facilities of Camp 6. Seeing all this in person made clear to me how vast the architecture of detention had become, how entrenched it was, and how hard it would be to close.

      Without a significant government effort to reverse direction, conditions in every camp system tend to deteriorate over time. Governments rarely make that kind of effort on behalf of people they are willing to lock up without trial in the first place. And history shows that legislatures do not close camps against the will of an executive.

      Just a few years ago there might have been more potential for change spurred by the judicial branch of our democracy, but this Supreme Court is inclined toward deference to executive power, even, it appears, if that power is abused. It seems unlikely this Court will intervene to end the new border camp system; indeed, the justices are far more likely to institutionalize it by half-measures, as happened with Guantánamo. The Korematsu case, in which the Supreme Court upheld Japanese-American internment (a ruling only rescinded last year), relied on the suppression of evidence by the solicitor general. Americans today can have little confidence that this administration would behave any more scrupulously when defending its detention policy.

      What kind of conditions can we expect to develop in these border camps? The longer a camp system stays open, the more likely it is that vital things will go wrong: detainees will contract contagious diseases and suffer from malnutrition and mental illness. We have already seen that current detention practices have resulted in children and adults succumbing to influenza, staph infections, and sepsis. The US is now poised to inflict harm on tens of thousands more, perhaps hundreds of thousands more.

      Along with such inevitable consequences, every significant camp system has introduced new horrors of its own, crises that were unforeseen when that system was opened. We have yet to discover what those will be for these American border camps. But they will happen. Every country thinks it can do detention better when it starts these projects. But no good way to conduct mass indefinite detention has yet been devised; the system always degrades.

      When, in 1940, Margarete Buber-Neumann was transferred from the Soviet Gulag at Karaganda to the camp for women at Ravensbrück (in an exchange enabled by the Nazi–Soviet Pact), she came from near-starvation conditions in the USSR and was amazed at the cleanliness and order of the Nazi camp. New arrivals were issued clothing, bedding, and silverware, and given fresh porridge, fruit, sausage, and jam to eat. Although the Nazi camps were already punitive, order-obsessed monstrosities, the wartime overcrowding that would soon overtake them had not yet made daily life a thing of constant suffering and squalor. The death camps were still two years away.

      The United States now has a vast and growing camp system. It is starting out with gruesome overcrowding and inadequate healthcare, and because of budget restrictions, has already taken steps to cut services to juvenile detainees. The US Office of Refugee Resettlement says that the mounting number of children arriving unaccompanied is forcing it to use military bases and other sites that it prefers to avoid, and that establishing these camps is a temporary measure. But without oversight from state child welfare inspectors, the possibilities for neglect and abuse are alarming. And without any knowledge of how many asylum-seekers are coming in the future, federal administrators are likely to find themselves boxed in to managing detention on military sites permanently.

      President Trump and senior White House adviser Stephen Miller appear to have purged the Department of Homeland Security of most internal opposition to their anti-immigrant policies. In doing so, that have removed even those sympathetic to the general approach taken by the White House, such as former Chief of Staff John Kelly and former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, in order to escalate the militarization of the border and expand irregular detention in more systematic and punitive ways. This kind of power struggle or purge in the early years of a camp system is typical.

      The disbanding of the Cheka, the Soviet secret police, in February 1922 and the transfer of its commander, Felix Dzerzhinsky, to head up an agency with control over only two prisons offered a hint of an alternate future in which extrajudicial detention would not play a central role in the fledgling Soviet republic. But Dzerzhinsky managed to keep control over the “special camps” in his new position, paving the way for the emergence of a camp-centered police state. In pre-war Germany in the mid-1930s, Himmler’s struggle to consolidate power from rivals eventually led him to make camps central to Nazi strategy. When the hardliners win, as they appear to have in the US, conditions tend to worsen significantly.

      Is it possible this growth in the camp system will be temporary and the improvised border camps will soon close? In theory, yes. But the longer they remain open, the less likely they are to vanish. When I visited the camps for Rohingya Muslims a year before the large-scale campaign of ethnic cleansing began, many observers appeared to be confusing the possible and the probable. It was possible that the party of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi would sweep into office in free elections and begin making changes. It was possible that full democracy would come to all the residents of Myanmar, even though the government had stripped the Rohingya of the last vestiges of their citizenship. These hopes proved to be misplaced. Once there are concentration camps, it is always probable that things will get worse.

      The Philippines, Japanese-American internment, Guantánamo… we can consider the fine points of how the current border camps evoke past US systems, and we can see how the arc of camp history reveals the likelihood that the suffering we’re currently inflicting will be multiplied exponentially. But we can also simply look at what we’re doing right now, shoving bodies into “dog pound”-style detention pens, “iceboxes,” and standing room-only spaces. We can look at young children in custody who have become suicidal. How much more historical awareness do we really need?

      https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2019/06/21/some-suburb-of-hell-americas-new-concentration-camp-system

    • #Alexandria_Ocasio-Cortez engage le bras de fer avec la politique migratoire de Donald Trump

      L’élue de New York a qualifié les camps de rétention pour migrants érigés à la frontière sud des Etats-Unis de « camps de concentration ».

      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/06/19/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-engage-le-bras-de-fer-avec-la-politique-migratoire-

  • Témoignages : le #travail_forcé, l’autre facette de l’enfer que vivent les migrants détenus en #Libye

    Agriculture, travaux ménagers, construction de bâtiments… En Libye, les migrants enfermés dans les centres de rétention officiels sont forcés de travailler pour des employeurs libyens, sans rémunération et avec la complicité des autorités.

    « Régulièrement, des Libyens viennent nous chercher en prison et nous forcent à travailler pour eux », affirme à InfoMigrants John*, un migrant érythréen enfermé dans le centre de détention officiel de #Zintan, au sud de Tripoli.

    « Lorsque j’étais au centre de Tarek-el-Matar [à Tripoli, ndlr], des hommes en armes choisissaient parmi nous des personnes pour les forcer à travailler », explique à son tour Landry, un migrant camerounais qui vit aujourd’hui en Tunisie, joint par InfoMigrants.

    « On travaille de 8h du matin à la tombée de la nuit »

    La rédaction d’InfoMigrants a récolté nombre de témoignages qui racontent la même histoire : des employeurs libyens qui entrent dans les centres officiels, avec la complicité des gardes, pour choisir plusieurs migrants et les obliger à travailler toute la journée. Le soir, ils sont re-déposés au centre, sans avoir perçu la moindre rémunération.

    Il existe en Libye 16 centres de détention officiels où s’entassent environ 6 000 migrants, selon les estimations d’Amnesty International données fin 2018. C’est là que les migrants interceptés en mer par les garde-côtes libyens sont envoyés.


    « On travaille de 8h du matin à la tombée de la nuit. Si la tâche donnée n’est pas terminée, ils peuvent nous forcer à travailler toute la nuit », précise encore Landry.

    Cette main-d’oeuvre gratuite est ainsi réquisitionnée pour travailler dans la construction de bâtiments, dans les champs d’oliviers ou la récolte de tomates, dans l’agriculture mais aussi effectuer des travaux ménagers. Les femmes, sont, elles, forcées de se prostituer ou d’effectuer des tâches domestiques chez des particuliers.

    « Nous en avons entendu parler sur les réseaux sociaux mais nous n’avons pas la confirmation que cela existe », déclare à InfoMigrants Sasfa Msehli de l’Organisation internationale des migrations (OIM) en Libye.

    Ce phénomène n’est pourtant pas nouveau. Il est documenté depuis plus de deux ans. Un rapport du Haut-commissariat des Nations unies aux droits de l’Homme (HCDH) et de la mission d’appui des Nations unies en Libye (Manul) publié fin 2016 faisait déjà état de travaux forcés dans les centres de détention gérés par les autorités libyennes.

    « Si on refuse de les suivre, ils nous torturent et nous tuent »

    Des migrants « ont été forcés de travailler afin d’économiser suffisamment de fonds pour pouvoir sortir de détention. Après avoir travaillé toute la journée, certains sont ramenés dans les centres de détention le soir. D’autres sont détenus sur le lieu de travail pendant des semaines ou des mois », écrivent les auteurs du rapport.

    En décembre 2018, un rapport produit par les mêmes institutions réitère les observations de 2016. « Les hommes migrants et réfugiés sont régulièrement retirés de leur captivité pour effectuer des travaux manuels forcés […] », peut-on lire dans le document.

    Ces travaux forcés se font, par définition, sous la menace. « Si on refuse de les suivre, ils nous torturent, parfois nous tuent », signale Moussa, un Camerounais qui est passé par le centre de détention de Zouara, à l’ouest de Tripoli.

    « Lorsque je travaillais dans les champs, des hommes en armes contrôlaient ce que nous faisions. Si ça ne leur convenait pas ou si on s’arrêtaient quelques minutes, ils nous frappaient », assure de son côté Landry.

    Tous racontent aussi les privations de nourriture lors de leur journée de travail, sous le soleil brûlant de Libye. « Ils nous donnent seulement un morceau de pain et de l’eau », déplore John, toujours enfermé au centre de Zintan. « Le travail est très éprouvant, certains s’évanouissent ».

    « Les autorités légitiment cette pratique »

    Comment les migrants sont-ils choisis par les exploitants ? Souvent, ce sont les personnes les plus fortes physiquement qui sont désignées. « Si tu es costaud en Libye, tu es mort. Tu es réquisitionné pour toutes les tâches », se souvient Moussa.

    Le Camerounais explique aussi que les « anciens » ont plus de risques d’être exploités. « Les gardes ont espoir que les nouveaux arrivants puissent récupérer de l’argent de leur famille pour payer leur libération. Alors ils préfèrent envoyer les plus anciens pour les travaux forcés car ils savent qu’ils n’ont plus aucune chance de se faire de l’argent avec eux ». En d’autres mots, les plus anciens ne représentent plus aucun intérêt financier pour les gérants des centres de détention et sont donc à la merci des trafiquants.

    « Les autorités légitiment cette pratique », estime Hassiba Hadj-Sahraoui, conseillère aux affaires humanitaires de Médecins sans frontières (MSF), contactée par InfoMigrants. « Les employeurs passent des arrangements avec les gardes des centres de détention. Souvent, ils reçoivent de l’argent des trafiquants en échange de main d’œuvre gratuite ».

    Selon elle, les centres de détention sont une source de revenus pour de nombreux Libyens. « Tout le monde se fait de l’argent sur le dos des migrants, à tous les niveaux. Cela explique en partie que ces centres existent encore ».

    « Le système de détention libyen est en fait un système d’exploitation »

    Les travaux forcés ne se limitent pas à l’extérieur des prisons. Au sein même des centres de détention, certains migrants sont exploités par le personnel.

    « J’ai dû déboucher des toilettes du centre à mains nues, mais j’ai aussi été forcé de décharger des armes dans un entrepôt situé à quelques mètres de la prison », glisse Landry.

    Une pratique confirmée dans le rapport de 2018 du HCDC et de la Manul. Selon les auteurs, les migrants sont forcés de travailler « à l’intérieur des installations, notamment le nettoyage, la cuisine, le déchargement d’objets lourds et le lavage des véhicules des fonctionnaires de la DCIM [le département de lutte contre la migration illégale, chargé des centres de détention, ndlr] ».

    « Le système de détention libyen est en fait un système d’exploitation », déplore Hassiba Hadj-Sahraoui.
    Depuis 2016, l’Union européenne (UE) a signé un accord avec la Libye, permettant de fournir un appui logistique et matériel aux garde-côtes libyens. Pour les ONG, cet accord rend les États européens complices des exactions commises sur les migrants en Libye. En début de semaine, un collectif d’avocats a déposé plainte à la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) contre l’Union européenne pour « crimes contre l’humanité ».

    https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/17333/temoignages-le-travail-force-l-autre-facette-de-l-enfer-que-vivent-les
    #centres_de_détention #asile #migrations #réfugiés #esclavage_moderne
    ping @reka

    • Libye, loin des yeux, loin du cœur : reportage dans les centres de détention

      5 000 à 6 000 réfugiés et migrants sont détenus de façon arbitraire dans les centres de détention libyens qui dépendent du ministère de l’Intérieur basé à Tripoli.

      Ces derniers mois, leur situation s’est encore aggravée à cause du conflit qui a éclaté début avril entre le gouvernement libyen reconnu par les Nations unies et basé à Tripoli (GNA) et les forces de l’Armée Nationale Libyenne (ANL). Toutefois, malgré des appels répétés à la protection et à l’évacuation des réfugiés et des migrants détenus, ceux-ci ont peu de chances de parvenir en lieu sûr dans un avenir proche. Par ailleurs, nombre d’entre eux sont renvoyés de force dans ce même cycle de violences et de détention en Libye par les garde-côtes libyens soutenus par l’Union européenne.

      Loin de la zone de combat, des centaines de personnes restent enfermées pour une durée indéterminée, dans des conditions néfastes, dans des centres de détention où elles sont exposées aux maltraitances et à la mort, et poussées au désespoir.

      Dans le djebel Nafousa, une région montagneuse au sud de Tripoli, des personnes nécessitant une protection internationale et enregistrées auprès du Haut Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (HCR) en tant que réfugiés ou demandeurs d’asile, ont été abandonnées dans des centres de détention depuis des mois, voire des années, sans aucune assistance.

      De septembre 2018 à mai 2019, au moins 22 personnes sont décédées dans les centres de détention de Zintan et de Gharyan, principalement de la tuberculose. Parmi les morts se trouvaient des jeunes hommes, des femmes et un enfant de huit ans.

      Dans le centre de détention de Zintan, quelque 700 personnes étaient enfermées dans un entrepôt agricole surpeuplé, tandis que 200 autres étaient confinées dans un ensemble de petits bâtiments.

      https://www.msf.fr/actualites/libye-loin-des-yeux-loin-du-coeur-reportage-dans-les-centres-de-detention

    • Libye : incendie dans un centre de détention de migrants à Zintan

      Un feu s’est déclaré dimanche dans le centre de détention de Zintan, en Libye. Provoqué par des infrastructures électriques vétustes, l’incendie a provoqué des dégâts matériels et alerte une fois de plus sur les conditions de détention des migrants en Libye.

      Un nuage de fumée noire sort d’un bâtiment délabré. À l’extérieur, plusieurs jeunes hommes tentent d’évacuer les affaires qu’ils peuvent atteindre. Certains portent un tissu sur la bouche, maigre protection face à une fumée toxique.

      Dimanche 1er décembre, le centre de détention de Zintan, en Libye, a connu un incendie dont l’origine serait électrique. L’incident n’a pas fait de blessés même si certains migrants ont respiré des fumées. Une vingtaine d’entre eux ont perdu leurs affaires personnelles et le bâtiment où s’est déclaré l’incendie est désormais inutilisable.

      Selon Besay*, un jeune Érythréen détenu dans le centre et contacté par InfoMigrants, les gardiens ont mis plus d’une heure et demie à appeler les pompiers. Cet incendie rappelle que les conditions de vie des migrants en Libye sont extrêmement difficiles. Les ONG dénoncent régulièrement la situation des migrants dans les centres de détention gérés par le département libyen de lutte contre la migration illégale (DCIM, selon l’acronyme anglais).

      Près de 500 hommes – majoritairement érythréens et somaliens – sont détenus à Zintan. Parmi eux, plus d’une centaine sont atteints de tuberculose. Les équipes de Médecins sans frontières (MSF) n’ont accès aux détenus que depuis le mois de mai.

      Aujourd’hui, les malades de la tuberculose sont séparés des autres détenus pendant deux semaines. Mais cela n’a pas toujours été le cas. « Après ils reviennent avec nous », explique Besay. Le jeune Érythréen est lui-même malade. « Depuis quatre mois, je prends un traitement donné par MSF. »

      À Zintan, les migrants souffrent également du manque de nourriture. En mars 2019, plusieurs migrants étaient morts de faim dans le centre. InfoMigrants avait reçu des photos de jeunes hommes d’une maigreur extrême.

      Plus de 40 000 migrants ont été enregistrés en Libye par le Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (HCR). Mais plusieurs centaines vivraient en tout dans le pays dans des centres de détentions officiels et clandestins ainsi que dans des squats et des logements individuels.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7GmSTYgAK4&feature=emb_logo

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/21270/libye-incendie-dans-un-centre-de-detention-de-migrants-a-zintan?ref=tw

      #feu #incendie

    • La machine à broyer. Réfugiés et migrants piégés en Libye

      Fin 2017, des images effroyables de migrants vendus comme des marchandises en Libye faisaient le tour du monde et suscitaient une réaction en chaîne de nombreux dirigeants, en Libye, en Europe, en Afrique, promettant de prendre des mesures destinées à protéger les réfugiés et migrants d’un système d’exploitation organisée.

      Deux ans après, rien n’a pourtant changé. Présentes depuis 2017 auprès des migrants et réfugiés détenus en Libye, les équipes MSF témoignent de l’#horreur de la situation pour des milliers de personnes condamnées à croupir dans des centres de détention ou prises au piège d’un cycle sans fin de #violence et d’#abus.

      https://msf2016.atavist.com/libye-la-machine-a-broyer

      #MSF #rapport
      –----------
      v. des documents archivés sur seenthis en 2017 :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/605873

    • Migrant in Libya relives brutal detention through sketches

      A guard withholds water from a barefoot migrant kneeling in front of him. An emaciated man lies on the ground while a thermostat reads a broiling 43 degrees Celsius. Refugees cower to the ground as bullets whiz by.

      These rough pencil sketches by an Eritrean refugee offer a glimpse of the brutal reality of Libya’s migrant detention centers, where thousands have been locked away for months or even years. Most are there after failing to make the perilous crossing to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea.

      The artist asked to only be identified by his nickname, Aser, because he fears reprisals from militias for speaking out about what he says are “nightmare conditions” inside the centers. In a country with no functioning government, it is often competing militias who run the detention centers and make money off migrants.

      The drawings are based on what Aser, 28, witnessed inside several migrant facilities in Tripoli between September 2017 and October this year. At night, he recalls, he awoke to the sounds of militiamen dragging migrants from their sleep and beating them to get ransoms from their families, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. Guards withheld food, water and medicine for the same reason.

      Libya’s migrant detention centers are rife with abuse, and many have gotten caught in the crossfire of the country’s civil war. One drawing depicts refugees in the crossfire between forces of military commander Khalifa Hifter and militias allied with the United Nations-supported government in Tripoli.

      Libya became a major crossing point for migrants to Europe after the death of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, but Europe now sends money for Libya to prevent migrants from reaching its shores. With increased reports of torture and abuse inside detention centers, Europe’s policy of supporting the Libyan coast guard as it intercepts fleeing migrants has come under growing criticism.

      Aser says that often, the only drinking water available inside the hangars where he was kept was a few buckets of water for hundreds of people. He and others went weeks without seeing sunlight, and the crowded centers became breeding grounds for disease. At the last facility where he was held, Abu Salim, he and another migrant, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said two Eritreans died from what they believed to be tuberculosis.

      Aser’s journey began more than four years ago, when he escaped forced military conscription in Eritrea, considered among the world’s most repressive governments. He made his way through Ethiopia and Sudan, and paid $6,000 to traffickers in Libya to secure a place on a boat to Europe. But the vessel was intercepted by the Libyan coast guard.

      He ended up in Tripoli in September 2017 and was placed in the first of three centers. Visiting workers from Doctors Without Borders, or MSF, provided him with pencils and paper, and he worked out of the sight of guards. He sometimes hid the drawings with other migrants, and took photos of some sketches before destroying them.

      In late October, Aser fled to an already overcrowded United Nations-run facility with hundreds of other detainees. Now his hope is that he can be one of the few to qualify for asylum, who are put on flights via Niger and Rwanda to Europe.

      In the meantime, he says, his only escape is art.

      “I dream that one day I can move out of Libya to develop my skill by gaining additional education,” he said.

      source : https://apnews.com/b55a574819e26a45c819fe843c946379

      #eau #guerre_civile #jeu_de_l'oie (une sorte de jeu de l’oie bien dramatique, car la dernière étape est le #cimetière dans ce dessin) #centre_de_détention #centres_de_détention #décès #mort

      Et pour le dessin du « tour des centres de détention » :
      https://twitter.com/mokhbersahafi/status/1211981910219657218?s=03

    • Affrontements en Libye : le #HCR relocalise en lieu sûr des réfugiés depuis des #centres_de_détention

      Du fait de l’insécurité actuelle dans la capitale libyenne, le HCR, l’Agence des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés, a relocalisé aujourd’hui plus de 150 réfugiés depuis le centre de détention d’#Ain_Zara au sud de #Tripoli vers le centre du HCR pour le regroupement et le départ, dans une zone sûre située non loin.

      Le centre de détention d’Ain Zara a été affecté par de violents affrontements ces derniers jours. Les réfugiés ont fait part au HCR de leur peur et leur inquiétude pour leur sécurité, car des combats survenaient dans les environs, et il ne leur restait que très peu de vivres.

      Le HCR a reçu des informations faisant état de situations similaires dans d’autres centres de détention et examine actuellement ces demandes.

      Aujourd’hui, la relocalisation de réfugiés et de migrants détenus est la première effectuée par le HCR depuis l’escalade récente des violences.

      Le HCR travaille en étroite collaboration avec les autorités et ses partenaires pour assurer la relocalisation des personnes vulnérables des centres de détention.

      « En Libye, de nombreux réfugiés et migrants subissent des abus effroyables. Ils courent désormais également de sérieux risques et ne doivent pas être négligés dans les efforts visant à mettre tous les civils à l’abri du danger et à les relocaliser dans des endroits plus sûrs », a déclaré Matthew Brook, chef-adjoint de la mission du HCR en Libye.

      Depuis l’éruption des combats dans la capitale libyenne, plus de 3400 Libyens ont été déplacés par les combats et beaucoup d’autres sont pris au piège dans les tirs croisés. Ils sont dans l’incapacité de fuir en quête de refuge.

      Le HCR se joint à la communauté humanitaire pour exhorter au respect des obligations juridiques internationales afin d’assurer la sécurité de tous les civils et la sauvegarde de l’infrastructure civile, ainsi que de permettre un accès humanitaire complet, sûr, sans entrave et durable dans les zones touchées.

      Dans le cadre de sa réponse à la crise d’urgence résultant de la violence actuelle, le HCR a également prépositionné du matériel de secours dans des endroits clés à Tripoli et Misrata, a renforcé ses services d’assistance téléphonique et assure la continuité de ses programmes d’assistance aux réfugiés et aux Libyens déplacés en milieu urbain.

      Le HCR réitère sa position selon laquelle les conditions en Libye ne sont pas sûres pour les réfugiés et les migrants secourus ou interceptés en mer, et que ces personnes ne doivent pas y être renvoyées.

      https://www.unhcr.org/fr/news/press/2019/4/5cad93afa/affrontements-libye-hcr-relocalise-lieu-s-r-refugies-centres-detention.html
      #évacuation #UNHCR #pays_sûr

      v. aussi ce fil twitter du HCR :
      https://twitter.com/Refugees/status/1115908064270532609

  • Asylum seeker to sue UK for funding Libyan detention centres

    Ethiopian teenager says he experienced physical abuse, extortion and forced labour in centres part-funded by UK.

    A teenage asylum seeker from Ethiopia is planning to sue the government for its role in funding detention centres in Libya, where he says he experienced physical abuse, extortion and forced labour.

    The teenager, who turned 18 a few weeks ago, cannot be named. He lives in London and is waiting for the Home Office to determine his asylum claim. His legal action against the government’s Department for International Development (DfID) for its contribution to funding these overseas centres is thought to be the first of its kind.
    Separated at sea: a Sierra Leonean father’s desperate fear for his boy
    Read more

    The Guardian previously revealed the terrible conditions in a network of 26 detention centres across Libya. The EU’s Emergency Trust Fund for Africa provides some funding for the centres. DfID says that the funding it provides is used to improve conditions in the camps.

    Children have described being starved, beaten and abused by Libyan police and camp guards. One said the conditions were like “hell on Earth”.

    The government insists the funding is necessary as part of a humane effort to dissuade people from making the dangerous Mediterranean crossing. Arguing that migrant detention centres are the responsibility of the Libyan authorities, it is understood to have raised concerns over the treatment of detainees with the Libyan government.

    A spokeswoman previously told the Guardian: “We continue to help fund the European Union Trust Fund’s work to improve conditions for migrants in detention centres.”

    But critics see the Libyan camps as a way for European countries to prevent asylum seekers and other migrants from reaching Europe, and the UK’s involvement as another plank of the so called “hostile environment” to keep people out.

    Last year the UK government spent £10m in Libya on various initiatives, including the detention centres.

    The teenager who has begun the legal action against the government claims that officials are acting unlawfully in funding the detention centres and should stop doing so. He is also asking for compensation for the suffering he endured there.

    The boy’s legal team is calling on DfID to facilitate the relocation of the detention centres to the UK or other safe countries so that asylum claims can be safely processed. His lawyers have asked DfID to disclose the funding agreements between the UK and Libyan governments and any internal documents concerning the destination of UK funding in Libya as well as any untoward incidents in the centres.
    Inside the chaos and corruption of Tripoli, where militias rule the streets
    Read more

    The teenager fled persecution in Ethiopia because of his father’s political allegiances and finally reached the UK after a dangerous journey through Libya and across the Mediterranean.

    In Libya he suffered both at the hands of traffickers and in the detention centres, some of which are controlled by local militias.

    “The period I was detained and enslaved in Libya was a living hell,” he said. An expert medical report conducted in London identified 31 different lesions, including 10 on his face, which the doctor who examined him found provided “significant corroboration” of his account of repeated ill treatment.

    Many of those in the camps are from Eritrea but there are also asylum seekers from Ethiopia, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and Syria.

    James Elliott of Wilsons Solicitors, who is bringing the legal action on the teenager’s behalf, said: “DfID acknowledges that conditions in the camps are appalling. We are bringing this legal challenge because it is vital that UK taxpayers’ money is not used to allow places where men, women and children are subjected to torture, rape and slavery to continue to exist.”

    DfID has been approached for comment.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/dec/20/asylum-seeker-to-sue-uk-for-funding-libyan-detention-centres
    #Libye #externalisation #UK #Angleterre #justice #centres_de_détention #asile #migrations #réfugiés #poursuite #viol #abus_sexuels #travail_forcé #Trust_fund #Trust_fund_for_Africa

  • Libyan Detention Centers • A Legal Analysis

    Detention of migrants in Libya is no post-2011 phenomenon. The detention centers, which are referred to by Libya as “holding centers” were established in the early 2000s, to deter migration to Libya and Europe. The modus operandi of the centers are punitive by nature. Dentention in the centres results in deprivation of freedom, devoid of proportionality and restraint.


    #cartographie #visualisation

    Avec une #chronologie, à partir des années 1980 à nos jours :
    http://xchange.org/map/Libya_DC.html#Overview

    http://xchange.org/map/Libya_DC.html

    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Libye #centres_de_détention #droits_humains
    ping @reka @isskein

  • Plus de 669 000 migrants présents en #Libye d’après l’ONU

    L’ONU a recensé plus de 669 000 migrants en Libye depuis le mois d’août. La situation des femmes et des enfants, présents en minorité, inquiète plus particulièrement les Nations unies. L’organisation alerte encore une fois sur les conditions de détention dans ce pays.

    En Libye, « plus de 669 000 » migrants ont été recensés par les Nations unies depuis le mois d’août 2018. Le chiffre émane d’un rapport cité par l’AFP et remis jeudi 10 janvier par le secrétaire général de l’organisation, Antonio Guterres au Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU.

    Parmi ce nombre important de migrants présents sur le sol libyen figurent 12% de femmes et 9% d’enfants. D’après un autre rapport de l’Organisation internationale des migrations (OIM) publié en octobre pour la période de septembre-octobre 2018, ces enfants sont pour la plupart des mineurs non-accompagnés (65%).

    La situation de ces femmes et de ces enfants migrants inquiète le secrétariat général de l’ONU qui les juge « particulièrement vulnérables aux viols, abus sexuels et exploitations, par des acteurs étatiques comme non-étatiques ».

    Des migrants « nécessitant une protection internationale » dans les prisons libyennes

    Le document d’Antonio Guterres alerte également le Conseil de sécurité sur les conditions de détentions des migrants. L’Onu indique qu’environ 5 300 réfugiés et migrants ont été enfermés en Libye durant les six derniers mois, dont « 3 700 nécessitant une protection internationale ». Des chiffres sous-estimés si l’on considère que des milliers d’autres personnes sont aux mains de milices et de contrebandes, estime l’ONG Human Right Watch (HRW).

    « Toutes les prisons doivent être sous le contrôle effectif du gouvernement et ne dépendre d’aucune influence ou interférence venant de groupes armés », a justement rappelé le secrétaire général de l’ONU, qui a appelé les autorités libyennes à contrôler les prisons et à adopter des mesures afin de protéger les détenus « contre la torture et d’autres mauvais traitements ». Il s’est dit préoccupé par « les violations généralisées des droits de l’homme et les abus commis à l’encontre des détenus et la détention arbitraire prolongée de milliers d’hommes, de femmes et d’enfants sans procédure régulière ».

    Concernant l’origine des personnes présentes sur le sol libyen, l’OIM avait estimé en octobre 2018, que les migrants étaient majoritairement issus du Niger (19%), puis d’Égypte et du Tchad (14%), du Soudan (10%) et du Nigeria (10%).

    http://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/14461/plus-de-669-000-migrants-presents-en-libye-d-apres-l-onu?ref=tw_i
    #statistiques #chiffres #asile #migrations #réfugiés #externalisation

    ping @isskein

    • IOM: Over 669.000 illegal migrants currently in Libya

      The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a report on Saturday that more than 669,000 illegal immigrants of 41 different nationalities are currently in Libya.

      IOM said that in July and August 2018, IOM identified at least 669,176 migrants currently in Libya.

      “Migrants were identified in 100 municipalities, within 554 communities and originated from more than 41 countries,” IOM said.

      IOM said that the top 5 nationalities identified are from Niger, Egypt, Chad, Sudan and Nigeria, saying 12% of the whole number is women and 9% is children.

      The report detailed that 60% of both African and Asian migrants were identified in Libya’s western areas, with the highest concentration in Tripoli and surrounding areas.

      “Other identified migrants were split between east and south (21.5% and 18.5% respectively). However, the south hosts 20% of African migrants identified, while only few Asian and Middle-Eastern migrants were identified there (only 1% of Asian and Middle-Eastern migrants in Libya were identified in the south).” The report says.

      Meanwhile on Friday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that Libya’s coastguards rescued about 14.000 immigrants in 104 operations since the start of 2018.

      UNHCR also said earlier that there are about 8000 immigrants in 18 detention centers in Libya’s capital Tripoli.



      https://www.libyaobserver.ly/news/iom-over-669000-illegal-migrants-currently-libya
      #centres_de_détention #détention

  • A young refugee in Libya asked could he draw & send me illustrations to explain the journey tens of thousands of Eritreans make, between escaping the dictatorship in their home country & trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. I’ll share them in this thread.
    NB: Sorry, I should clarify that these weren’t done by a child. The guy is overage but suggested drawing the journey would be the easiest way of describing it.
    Here’s the first picture, which shows the conversation between a mother & her son, who’s telling her he’s decided to go to Libya:


    #Libye

    The second picture shows the journey across the desert from Sudan to Libya, in the packed lorries & smaller cars #smugglers use to transport people. Some people die at this stage:


    #passeurs

    The third picture shows what happens once refugees & migrants reach Libya: they’re locked in buildings owned by smugglers until their families can pay ransoms - often much, much more than what was agreed. If their families don’t pay they’re tortured, women raped & some are killed:


    #torture #femmes #viol #mourir_en_Libye

    The fourth picture shows people whose families have paid smugglers (sometimes multiple times) trying to cross the sea from Libya to Italy. “Most people (who) go to sea die or return to Libya & few arrive to dream land.”


    #Méditerranée #mourir_en_mer #push-back #refoulement

    The final drawing shows the detention centres refugees & migrants are imprisoned in, after they’re returned to Libya from the sea. “Life inside the centres hell… Police is very hard, no mercy. Not enough eat, water, healthcare… Police get person to work by force.”


    #centres_de_détention #détention #travail_forcé #esclavage #esclavage_moderne
    https://twitter.com/sallyhayd/status/1078013428265115649?s=19
    #dessins #parcours_migratoire #itinéraire_migratoire #cartographie_sensible #cartographie #visualisation #dessin #réfugiés_érythréens #Erythrée
    ping @reka

  • Encore une #mesure-sparadrap, cette fois-ci en lien avec l’ #OMS (#WHO) :
    he #Italian Fund for #Africa supports #healthcare for #migrants in #Libya : a 1.118.700 euro new #project in partnership with World #Health Organization - “Enhancing Diagnosis and Treatment for Migrants in detention centers in Libya”


    https://twitter.com/LuigiVignali/status/1062253367903313920
    #migrations #réfugiés #Libye #Italie #externalisation #asile #détention #centres_de_détention

  • Detainees Evacuated out of Libya but Resettlement Capacity Remains Inadequate

    According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (#UNHCR) 262 migrants detained in Libya were evacuated to Niger on November 12- the largest evacuation from Libya carried out to date. In addition to a successful airlift of 135 people in October this year, this brings the total number of people evacuated to more than 2000 since December 2017. However Amnesty International describes the resettlement process from Niger as slow and the number of pledges inadequate.

    The evacuations in October and November were the first since June when the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) centre in Niger reached its full capacity of 1,536 people, which according to Amnesty was a result of a large number of people “still waiting for their permanent resettlement to a third country.”

    57,483 refugees and asylum seekers are registered by UNHCR in Libya; as of October 2018 14,349 had agreed to Voluntary Humanitarian Return. Currently 3,886 resettlement pledges have been made by 12 states, but only 1,140 have been resettled.

    14,595 people have been intercepted by the Libyan coast guard and taken back to Libya, however it has been well documented that their return is being met by detention, abuse, violence and torture. UNHCR recently declared Libya unsafe for returns amid increased violence in the capital, while Amnesty International has said that “thousands of men, women and children are trapped in Libya facing horrific abuses with no way out”.

    In this context, refugees and migrants are currently refusing to disembark in Misrata after being rescued by a cargo ship on November 12, reportedly saying “they would rather die than be returned to land”. Reuters cited one Sudanese teenager on board who stated “We agree to go to any place but not Libya.”

    UNHCR estimates that 5,413 refugees and migrants remain detained in #Directorate_for_Combatting_Illegal_Migration (#DCIM) centres and the UN Refugee Agency have repetedly called for additional resettlement opportunities for vulnerable persons of concern in Libya.

    https://www.ecre.org/detainees-evacuated-out-of-libya-but-resettlement-capacity-remains-inadequate
    #réinstallation #Niger #Libye #évacuation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #HCR #détention #centres_de_détention #Emergency_Transit_Mechanism (#ETM)

    • ET DES INFORMATIONS PLUS ANCIENNES DANS LE FIL CI-DESSOUS

      Libya: evacuations to Niger resumed – returns from Niger begun

      After being temporarily suspended in March as the result of concerns from local authorities on the pace of resettlement out of Niger, UNHCR evacuations of vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers from Libya through the Emergency Transit Mechanism has been resumed and 132 vulnerable migrants flown to the country. At the same time the deportation of 132 Sudanese nationals from Niger to Libya has raised international concern.

      Niger is the main host for refugees and asylum seekers from Libya evacuated by UNHCR. Since the UN Refugee Agency began evacuations in cooperation with EU and Libyan authorities in November 2017, Niger has received 1,152 of the 1,474 people evacuated in total. While UNHCR has submitted 475 persons for resettlement a modest 108 in total have been resettled in Europe. According to UNHCR the government in Niger has now offered to host an additional 1,500 refugees from Libya through the Emergency Transit Mechanism and upon its revival and the first transfer of 132 refugees to Niger, UNHCR’s Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean Situation, Vincent Cochetel stated: “We now urgently need to find resettlement solutions for these refugees in other countries.”

      UNHCR has confirmed the forced return by authorities in Niger of at least 132 of a group of 160 Sudanese nationals arrested in the migrant hub of Agadez, the majority after fleeing harsh conditions in Libya. Agadez is known as a major transit hub for refugees and asylum seekers seeking passage to Libya and Europe but the trend is reversed and 1,700 Sudanese nationals have fled from Libya to Niger since December 2017. In a mail to IRIN News, Human Rights Watch’s associate director for Europe and Central Asia, Judith Sunderland states: “It is inhuman and unlawful to send migrants and refugees back to Libya, where they face shocking levels of torture, sexual violence, and forced labour,” with reference to the principle of non-refoulement.

      According to a statement released by Amnesty International on May 16: “At least 7,000 migrants and refugees are languishing in Libyan detention centres where abuse is rife and food and water in short supply. This is a sharp increase from March when there were 4,400 detained migrants and refugees, according to Libyan officials.”

      https://www.ecre.org/libya-evacuations-to-niger-resumed-returns-from-niger-begun

    • Libya: return operations running but slow resettlement is jeopardizing the evacuation scheme

      According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) 15.000 migrants have been returned from Libya to their country of origin and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has assisted in the evacuation of more than 1,300 refugees from Libya thereby fulfilling the targets announced at the AU-EU-UN Taskforce meeting in December 2017. However, a modest 25 of the more than 1000 migrants evacuated to Niger have been resettled to Europe and the slow pace is jeopardizing further evacuations.

      More than 1000 of the 1300 migrants evacuated from Libya are hosted by Niger and Karmen Sakhr, who oversees the North Africa unit at the UNHCR states to the EU Observer that the organisation: “were advised that until more people leave Niger, we will no longer be able to evacuate additional cases from Libya.”

      During a meeting on Monday 5 March with the Civil Liberties Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs, members of the Delegation for relations with Maghreb countries, Commission and External Action Service representatives on the mistreatment of migrants and refugees in Libya, and arrangements for their resettlement or return, UNHCR confirmed that pledges have been made by France, Switzerland, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Malta as well as unspecified non-EU countries but that security approvals and interviewing process of the cases is lengthy resulting in the modest number of resettlements, while also warning that the EU member states need to put more work into resettlement of refugees, and that resettlement pledges still fall short of the needs. According to UNHCR 430 pledges has been made by European countries.

      An estimated 5000 people are in government detention and an unknown number held by private militias under well documented extreme conditions.

      https://www.ecre.org/libya-return-operations-running-but-slow-resettlement-is-jeopardizing-the-evac

    • Libya: migrants and refugees out by plane and in by boat

      The joint European Union (EU), African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) Task Force visited Tripoli last week welcoming progress made evacuating and returning migrants and refugees out of Libya. EU has announced three new programmes, for protecting migrants and refugees in Libya and along the Central Mediterranean Route, and their return and reintegration. Bundestag Research Services and NGOs raise concerns over EU and Member State support to Libyan Coast Guard.

      Representatives of the Task Force, created in November 2017, met with Libyan authorities last week and visited a detention centres for migrants and a shelter for internally displaced people in Tripoli. Whilst they commended progress on Voluntary Humanitarian Returns, they outlined a number of areas for improvement. These include: comprehensive registration of migrants at disembarkation points and detention centres; improving detention centre conditions- with a view to end the current system of arbitrary detention; decriminalizing irregular migration in Libya.

      The three new programmes announced on Monday, will be part of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. €115 million will go towards evacuating 3,800 refugees from Libya, providing protection and voluntary humanitarian return to 15,000 migrants in Libya and will support the resettlement of 14,000 people in need of international protection from Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Burkina Faso. €20 million will be dedicated to improving access to social and protection services for vulnerable migrants in transit countries in the Sahel region and the Lake Chad basin. €15 million will go to supporting sustainable reintegration for Ethiopian citizens.

      A recent report by the Bundestag Research Services on SAR operations in the Mediterranean notes the support for the Libyan Coast Guard by EU and Member States in bringing refugees and migrants back to Libya may be violating the principle of non-refoulement as outlined in the Geneva Convention: “This cooperation must be the subject of proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights, because the people who are being forcibly returned with the assistance of the EU are being inhumanely treated, tortured or killed.” stated Andrej Hunko, European policy spokesman for the German Left Party (die Linke). A joint statement released by SAR NGO’s operating in the Mediterranean calls on the EU institutions and leaders to stop the financing and support of the Libyan Coast Guard and the readmissions to a third country which violates fundamental human rights and international law.

      According to UNHCR, there are currently 46,730 registered refugees and asylum seekers in Libya. 843 asylum seekers and refugees have been released from detention so far in 2018. According to IOM 9,379 people have been returned to their countries of origin since November 2017 and 1,211 have been evacuated to Niger since December 2017.

      https://www.ecre.org/libya-migrants-and-refugees-out-by-plane-and-in-by-boat

      Complément de Emmanuel Blanchard (via la mailing-list Migreurop):

      Selon le HCR, il y aurait actuellement environ 6000 personnes détenues dans des camps en Libye et qui seraient en attente de retour ou de protection (la distinction n’est pas toujours très claire dans la prose du HCR sur les personnes à « évacuer » vers le HCR...). Ces données statistiques sont très fragiles et a priori très sous-estimées car fondées sur les seuls camps auxquels le HCR a accès.

    • First group of refugees evacuated from new departure facility in Libya

      UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in coordination with Libyan authorities, evacuated 133 refugees from Libya to Niger today after hosting them at a Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF) in Tripoli which opened on Tuesday.

      Most evacuees, including 81 women and children, were previously detained in Libya. After securing their release from five detention centres across Libya, including in Tripoli and areas as far as 180 kilometres from the capital, they were sheltered at the GDF until the arrangements for their evacuation were concluded.

      The GDF is the first centre of its kind in Libya and is intended to bring vulnerable refugees to a safe environment while solutions including refugee resettlement, family reunification, evacuation to emergency facilities in other countries, return to a country of previous asylum, and voluntary repatriation are sought for them.

      “The opening of this centre, in very difficult circumstances, has the potential to save lives. It offers immediate protection and safety for vulnerable refugees in need of urgent evacuation, and is an alternative to detention for hundreds of refugees currently trapped in Libya,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

      The centre is managed by the Libyan Ministry of Interior, UNHCR and UNHCR’s partner LibAid. The initiative is one of a range of measures needed to offer viable alternatives to the dangerous boat journeys undertaken by refugees and migrants along the Central Mediterranean route.

      With an estimated 4,900 refugees and migrants held in detention centres across Libya, including 3,600 in need of international protection, the centre is a critical alternative to the detention of those most vulnerable.

      The centre, which has been supported by the EU and other donors, has a capacity to shelter up to 1,000 vulnerable refugees identified for solutions out of Libya.

      At the facility, UNHCR and partners are providing humanitarian assistance such as accommodation, food, medical care and psychosocial support. Child friendly spaces and dedicated protection staff are also available to ensure that refugees and asylum-seekers are adequately cared for.

      https://www.unhcr.org/news/press/2018/12/5c09033a4/first-group-refugees-evacuated-new-departure-facility-libya.html

    • Migration : à Niamey, des migrants rapatriés de Libye protestent contre leurs conditions de séjour

      Les manifestants protestent contre leur détention de vie qu’ils jugent « déplorables » et pour amplifier leurs mouvements, ils ont brandi des pancartes sur lesquelles ils ont écrit leurs doléances. Les migrants manifestant s’indignent également de leur séjour qui ne cesse de se prolonger, sans véritable alternatives ou visibilité sur leur situation. « Ils nous ont ramené de la Libye pour nous laisser à nous-mêmes ici », « on ne veut pas rester ici, laisser nous partir là où on veut », sont entre autres les slogans que les migrants ont scandés au cours de leur sit-in devant les locaux de l’agence onusienne. Plusieurs des protestataires sont venus à la manifestation avec leurs bagages et d’autres avec leurs différents papiers, qui attestent de leur situation de réfugiés ou demandeurs d’asiles.

      La situation, quoique déplorable, n’a pas manqué de susciter divers commentaires. Il faut dire que depuis le début de l’opération de rapatriement des migrants en détresse de Libye, ils sont des centaines à vivre dans la capitale mais aussi à Agadez où des centres d’accueil sont mis à leurs dispositions par les agences onusiennes (UNHCR, OIM), avec la collaboration des autorités nigériennes. Un certain temps, leur présence de plus en plus massive dans divers quartiers de la capitale où des villas sont mises à leur disposition, a commencé à inquiéter les habitants sur d’éventuels risques sécuritaires.

      Le gouvernement a signé plusieurs accords et adopté des lois pour lutter contre l’immigration clandestine. Il a aussi signé des engagements avec certains pays européens notamment la France et l’Italie, pour l’accueil temporaire des réfugiés en provenance de la Libye et en transit en attendant leur réinstallation dans leur pays ou en Europe pour ceux qui arrivent à obtenir le sésame pour l’entrée. Un geste de solidarité décrié par certaines ONG et que les autorités regrettent presque à demi-mot, du fait du non-respect des contreparties financières promises par les bailleurs et partenaires européens. Le pays fait face lui-même à un afflux de réfugiés nigérians et maliens sur son territoire, ainsi que des déplacés internes dans plusieurs régions, ce qui complique davantage la tâche dans cette affaire de difficile gestion de la problématique migratoire.

      Le Niger accueille plusieurs centres d’accueil pour les réfugiés et demandeurs d’asiles rapatriés de Libye. Le 10 décembre dernier, l’OFPRA français a par exemple annoncé avoir achevé une nouvelle mission au Niger avec l’UNHCR, et qui a concerné 200 personnes parmi lesquelles une centaine évacuée de Libye. En novembre dernier, le HCR a également annoncé avoir repris les évacuations de migrants depuis la Libye, avec un contingent de 132 réfugiés et demandeurs d’asiles vers le Niger.

      Depuis novembre 2017, le HCR a assuré avoir effectué vingt-trois (23) opérations d’évacuation au départ de la Libye et ce, « malgré d’importants problèmes de sécurité et les restrictions aux déplacements qui ont été imposées ». En tout, ce sont 2.476 réfugiés et demandeurs d’asile vulnérables qui ont pu être libérés et acheminés de la Libye vers le Niger (2.069), l’Italie (312) et la Roumanie (95).


      https://www.actuniger.com/societe/14640-migration-a-niamey-des-migrants-rapatries-de-libye-protestent-contr

      Je découvre ici que les évacuations se sont faites aussi vers l’#Italie et... la #Roumanie !

    • Destination Europe: Evacuation. The EU has started resettling refugees from Libya, but only 174 have made it to Europe in seven months

      As the EU sets new policies and makes deals with African nations to deter hundreds of thousands of migrants from seeking new lives on the continent, what does it mean for those following dreams northwards and the countries they transit through? From returnees in Sierra Leone and refugees resettled in France to smugglers in Niger and migrants in detention centres in Libya, IRIN explores their choices and challenges in this multi-part special report, Destination Europe.

      Four years of uncontrolled migration starting in 2014 saw more than 600,000 people cross from Libya to Italy, contributing to a populist backlash that is threatening the foundations of the EU. Stopping clandestine migration has become one of Europe’s main foreign policy goals, and last July the number of refugees and migrants crossing the central Mediterranean dropped dramatically. The EU celebrated the reduced numbers as “good progress”.

      But, as critics pointed out, that was only half the story: the decline, resulting from a series of moves by the EU and Italy, meant that tens of thousands of people were stuck in Libya with no way out. They faced horrific abuse, and NGOs and human rights organisations accused the EU of complicity in the violations taking place.

      Abdu is one who got stuck. A tall, lanky teenager, he spent nearly two years in smugglers’ warehouses and official Libyan detention centres. But he’s also one of the lucky ones. In February, he boarded a flight to Niger run (with EU support) by the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, to help some of those stranded in Libya reach Europe. Nearly 1,600 people have been evacuated on similiar flights, but, seven months on, only 174 have been resettled to Europe.

      The evacuation programme is part of a €500-million ($620-million) effort to resettle 50,000 refugees over the next two years to the EU, which has a population of more than 500 million people. The target is an increase from previous European resettlement goals, but still only represents a tiny fraction of the need – those chosen can be Syrians in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon as well as refugees in Libya, Egypt, Niger, Chad, Sudan, and Ethiopia – countries that combined host more than 6.5 million refugees.

      The EU is now teetering on the edge of a fresh political crisis, with boats carrying people rescued from the sea being denied ports of disembarkation, no consensus on how to share responsibility for asylum seekers and refugees within the continent, and increasing talk of further outsourcing the management of migration to African countries.

      Against this backdrop, the evacuation and resettlement programme from Libya is perhaps the best face of European policy in the Mediterranean. But, unless EU countries offer more spots for refugees, it is a pathway to safety for no more than a small handful who get the luck of the draw. As the first evacuees adjust to their new lives in Europe, the overwhelming majority are left behind.

      Four months after arriving in Niger, Abdu is still waiting to find out if and when he will be resettled to Europe. He’s still in the same state of limbo he was in at the end of March when IRIN met him in Niamey, the capital of Niger. At the time, he’d been out of the detention centre in Libya for less than a month and his arms were skeletally thin.

      “I thought to go to Europe [and] failed. Now, I came to Niger…. What am I doing here? What will happen from here? I don’t know,” he said, sitting in the shade of a canopy in the courtyard of a UNHCR facility. “I don’t know what I will be planning for the future because everything collapsed; everything finished.”
      Abdu’s story

      Born in Eritrea – one of the most repressive countries in the world – Abdu’s mother sent him to live in neighbouring Sudan when he was only seven. She wanted him to grow up away from the political persecution and shadow of indefinite military service that stifled normal life in his homeland.

      But Sudan, where he was raised by his uncle, wasn’t much better. As an Eritrean refugee, he faced discrimination and lived in a precarious legal limbo. Abdu saw no future there. “So I decided to go,” he said.

      Like so many other young Africans fleeing conflict, political repression, and economic hardship in recent years, he wanted to try to make it to Europe. But first he had to pass through Libya.

      After crossing the border from Sudan in July 2016, Abdu, then 16 years old, was taken captive and held for 18 months. The smugglers asked for a ransom of $5,500, tortured him while his relatives were forced to listen on the phone, and rented him out for work like a piece of equipment.

      Abdu tried to escape, but only found himself under the control of another smuggler who did the same thing. He was kept in overflowing warehouses, sequestered from the sunlight with around 250 other people. The food was not enough and often spoiled; disease was rampant; people died from malaria and hunger; one woman died after giving birth; the guards drank, carried guns, and smoked hashish, and, at the smallest provocation, spun into a sadistic fury. Abdu’s skin started crawling with scabies, his cheeks sank in, and his long limbs withered to skin and bones.

      One day, the smuggler told him that, if he didn’t find a way to pay, it looked like he would soon die. As a courtesy – or to try to squeeze some money out of him instead of having to deal with a corpse – the smuggler reduced the ransom to $1,500.

      Finally, Abdu’s relatives were able to purchase his freedom and passage to Europe. It was December 2017. As he finally stood on the seashore before dawn in the freezing cold, Abdu remembered thinking: “We are going to arrive in Europe [and] get protection [and] get rights.”

      But he never made it. After nearly 24 hours at sea, the rubber dinghy he was on with around 150 other people was intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard, which, since October 2016, has been trained and equipped by the EU and Italy.

      Abdu was brought back to the country he had just escaped and put in another detention centre.

      This one was official – run by the Libyan Directorate for Combating Irregular Migration. But it wasn’t much different from the smuggler-controlled warehouses he’d been in before. Again, it was overcrowded and dirty. People were falling sick. There was no torture or extortion, but the guards could be just as brutal. If someone tried to talk to them about the poor conditions “[they are] going to beat you until you are streaming blood,” Abdu said.

      Still, he wasn’t about to try his luck on his own again in Libya. The detention centre wasn’t suitable for human inhabitants, Abdu recalled thinking, but it was safer than anywhere he’d been in over a year. That’s where UNHCR found him and secured his release.

      The lucky few

      The small village of Thal-Marmoutier in France seems like it belongs to a different world than the teeming detention centres of Libya.

      The road to the village runs between gently rolling hills covered in grapevines and winds through small towns of half-timbered houses. About 40 minutes north of Strasbourg, the largest city in the region of Alsace, bordering Germany, it reaches a valley of hamlets that disrupt the green countryside with their red, high-peaked roofs. It’s an unassuming setting, but it’s the type of place Abdu might end up if and when he is finally resettled.

      In mid-March, when IRIN visited, the town of 800 people was hosting the first group of refugees evacuated from Libya.

      It was unseasonably cold, and the 55 people housed in a repurposed section of a Franciscan convent were bundled in winter jackets, scarves, and hats. Thirty of them had arrived from Chad, where they had been long-time residents of refugee camps after fleeing Boko Haram violence or conflict in the Sudanese region of Darfur. The remaining 25 – from Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Sudan – were the first evacuees from Libya. Before reaching France, they, like Abdu, had been flown to Niamey.

      The extra stop is necessary because most countries require refugees to be interviewed in person before offering them a resettlement spot. The process is facilitated by embassies and consulates, but, because of security concerns, only one European country (Italy) has a diplomatic presence in Libya.

      To resettle refugees stuck in detention centres, UNHCR needed to find a third country willing to host people temporarily, one where European resettlement agencies could carry out their procedures. Niger was the first – and so far only – country to volunteer.

      “For us, it is an obligation to participate,” Mohamed Bazoum, Niger’s influential interior minister, said when interviewed by IRIN in Niamey. Niger, the gateway between West Africa and Libya on the migration trail to Europe, is the top recipient of funds from the EU Trust Fund for Africa, an initiative launched in 2015 to “address the root causes of irregular migration”.

      “It costs us nothing to help,” Bazoum added, referring to the evacuation programme. “But we gain a sense of humanity in doing so.”

      ‘Time is just running from my life’

      The first evacuees landed in Niamey on 12 November. A little over a month later, on 19 December, they were on their way to France.

      By March, they had been in Thal-Marmoutier for three months and were preparing to move from the reception centre in the convent to individual apartments in different cities.

      Among them, several families with children had been living in Libya for a long time. But most of the evacuees were young women who had been imprisoned by smugglers and militias, held in official detention centres, or often both.

      “In Libya, it was difficult for me,” said Farida, a 24-year-old aspiring runner from Ethiopia. She fled her home in 2016 because of the conflict between the government and the Oromo people, an ethnic group.

      After a brief stay in Cairo, she and her husband decided to go to Libya because they heard a rumour that UNHCR was providing more support there to refugees. Shortly after crossing the border, Farida and her husband were captured by a militia and placed in a detention centre.

      “People from the other government (Libya has two rival governments) came and killed the militiamen, and some of the people in the prison also died, but we got out and were taken to another prison,” she said. “When they put me in prison, I was pregnant, and they beat me and killed the child in my belly.”

      Teyba, a 20-year-old woman also from Ethiopia, shared a similar story: “A militia put us in prison and tortured us a lot,” she said. “We stayed in prison for a little bit more than a month, and then the fighting started…. Some people died, some people escaped, and some people, I don’t know what happened to them.”

      Three months at the reception centre in Thal-Marmoutier had done little to ease the trauma of those experiences. “I haven’t seen anything that made me laugh or that made me happy,” Farida said. “Up to now, life has not been good, even after coming to France.”

      The French government placed the refugees in the reception centre to expedite their asylum procedures, and so they could begin to learn French.

      Everyone in the group had already received 10-year residency permits – something refugees who are placed directly in individual apartments or houses usually wait at least six months to receive. But many of them said they felt like their lives had been put on pause in Thal-Marmoutier. They were isolated in the small village with little access to transportation and said they had not been well prepared to begin new lives on their own in just a few weeks time.

      “I haven’t benefited from anything yet. Time is just running from my life,” said Intissar, a 35-year-old woman from Sudan.

      A stop-start process

      Despite their frustrations with the integration process in France, and the still present psychological wounds from Libya, the people in Thal-Marmoutier were fortunate to reach Europe.

      By early March, more than 1,000 people had been airlifted from Libya to Niger. But since the first group in December, no one else had left for Europe. Frustrated with the pace of resettlement, the Nigerien government told UNHCR that the programme had to be put on hold.

      “We want the flow to be balanced,” Bazoum, the interior minister, explained. “If people arrive, then we want others to leave. We don’t want people to be here on a permanent basis.”

      Since then, an additional 148 people have been resettled to France, Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands, and other departures are in the works. “The situation is improving,” said Louise Donovan, a UNHCR communications officer in Niger. “We need to speed up our processes as much as possible, and so do the resettlement countries.”

      A further 312 people were evacuated directly to Italy. Still, the total number resettled by the programme remains small. “What is problematic right now is the fact that European governments are not offering enough places for resettlement, despite continued requests from UNHCR,” said Matteo de Bellis, a researcher with Amnesty International.
      Less than 1 percent

      Globally, less than one percent of refugees are resettled each year, and resettlement is on a downward spiral at the moment, dropping by more than 50 percent between 2016 and 2017. The number of refugees needing resettlement is expected to reach 1.4 million next year, 17 percent higher than in 2018, while global resettlement places dropped to just 75,000 in 2017, UNHCR said on Monday.

      The Trump administration’s slashing of the US refugee admissions programme – historically the world’s leader – means this trend will likely continue.

      Due to the limited capacity, resettlement is usually reserved for people who are considered to be the most vulnerable.

      In Libya alone, there are around 19,000 refugees from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan registered with UNHCR – a number increasing each month – as well as 430,000 migrants and potential asylum seekers from throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Many have been subjected to torture, sexual violence, and other abuses. And, because they are in Libya irregularly, resettlement is often the only legal solution to indefinite detention.

      In the unlikely scenario that all the sub-Saharan refugees in Libya were to be resettled, they would account for more than one third of the EU’s quota for the next two years. And that’s not taking into account people in Libya who may have legitimate grounds to claim asylum but are not on the official radar. Other solutions are clearly needed, but given the lack of will in the international community, it is unclear what those might be.

      “The Niger mechanism is a patch, a useful one under the circumstance, but still a patch,” de Bellis, the Amnesty researcher, said. “There are refugees… who cannot get out of the detention centres because there are no resettlement places available to them.”

      It is also uncertain what will happen to any refugees evacuated to Niger that aren’t offered a resettlement spot by European countries.

      UNHCR says it is considering all options, including the possibility of integration in Niger or return to their countries of origin – if they are deemed to be safe and people agree to go. But resettlement is the main focus. In April, the pace of people departing for Europe picked up, and evacuations from Libya resumed at the beginning of May – ironically, the same week the Nigerien government broke new and dangerous ground by deporting 132 Sudanese asylum seekers who had crossed the border on their own back to Libya.

      For the evacuees in Niger awaiting resettlement, there are still many unanswered questions.

      As Abdu was biding his time back in March, something other than the uncertainty about his own future weighed on him: the people still stuck in the detention centres in Libya.

      He had started his travels with his best friend. They had been together when they were first kidnapped and held for ransom. But Abdu’s friend was shot in the leg by a guard who accused him of stealing a cigarette. When Abdu tried to escape, he left his friend behind and hasn’t spoken to him or heard anything about him since.

      “UNHCR is saying they are going to find a solution for me; they are going to help me,” Abdu said. “It’s okay. But what about the others?”

      https://www.irinnews.org/special-report/2018/06/26/destination-europe-evacuation

    • Hot Spots #1 : Niger, les évacués de l’enfer libyen

      Fuir l’enfer libyen, sortir des griffes des trafiquants qui séquestrent pendant des mois leurs victimes dans des conditions inhumaines. C’est de l’autre côté du désert, au Niger, que certains migrants trouvent un premier refuge grâce à un programme d’#évacuation d’urgence géré par les Nations Unies depuis novembre 2017.

      https://guitinews.fr/video/2019/03/12/hot-spots-1-niger-les-evacues-de-lenfer-libyen

      Lien vers la #vidéo :

      « Les gens qu’on évacue de la Libye, ce sont des individus qui ont subi une profonde souffrance. Ce sont tous des victimes de torture, des victimes de violences aussi sexuelles, il y a des femmes qui accouchent d’enfants fruits de cette violences sexuelles. » Alexandra Morelli, Représentante du HCR au Niger.

      https://vimeo.com/323299304

      ping @isskein @karine4

  • #métaliste (qui va être un grand chantier, car il y a plein d’information sur seenthis, qu’il faudrait réorganiser) sur :
    #externalisation #contrôles_frontaliers #frontières #migrations #réfugiés

    Des liens vers des articles généraux sur l’externalisation des frontières de la part de l’ #UE (#EU) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/569305
    https://seenthis.net/messages/390549
    https://seenthis.net/messages/320101

    Ici une tentative (très mal réussie, car évidement, la divergence entre pratiques et les discours à un moment donné, ça se voit !) de l’UE de faire une brochure pour déconstruire les mythes autour de la migration...
    La question de l’externalisation y est abordée dans différentes parties de la brochure :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/765967

    Petit chapitre/encadré sur l’externalisation des frontières dans l’ouvrage "(Dé)passer la frontière" :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/769367

    Les origines de l’externalisation des contrôles frontaliers (maritimes) : accord #USA-#Haïti de #1981 :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/768694

    L’externalisation des politiques européennes en matière de migration
    https://seenthis.net/messages/787450

    "#Sous-traitance" de la #politique_migratoire en Afrique : l’Europe a-t-elle les mains propres ?
    https://seenthis.net/messages/789048

    Partners in crime ? The impacts of Europe’s outsourced migration controls on peace, stability and rights :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/794636
    #paix #stabilité #droits #Libye #Niger #Turquie

    Proceedings of the conference “Externalisation of borders : detention practices and denial of the right to asylum”
    https://seenthis.net/messages/880193

  • L’équation des #refoulements en Libye : depuis le début #2018 près de 15000 boat-people ont été reconduits en #Libye où sont enregistrés plus de 56000 réfugiés et demandeurs d’asile. Parmi eux, en un an, 900 ont été réinstallés. Que deviennent les autres ?

    https://twitter.com/Migreurop/status/1053981625321771008

    #push-back #refoulement #statistiques #chiffres #Méditerranée #pull-back #réinstallation

    Source :
    Flash update Libya (UNHCR)

    Population Movements
    As of 11 October, the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) rescued/intercepted 14,156 refugees and migrants (9,801 men, 2,126 women and 1,373 children) at sea during 108 operations. So far in 2018, the LCG recovered 99 bodies from the sea. The number of individualsdis embarked in Libya has gradually increased over the past weeks when compared to the month of August (552 individuals in August, 1,265 individuals in September and 884 individuals so far in October). An increase in disembarkations may be expected as the sea iscurrently very calm.
    During the reporting period, 174 refugees and migrants (163 men, eight women and three children) disembarked in #Alkhums (97 km southwest of Tripoli) and #Zawia (45 km west of Tripoli). The group was comprised mainly of Bangladeshi and Sudanese nationals. UNHCR and its partner International Medical Corps (IMC) provided core-relief items (CRIs) and vital medical assistance both at the disembarkation points and in the detention centres to which individuals were subsequently transferred by the authorities. So far in 2018, UNHCR has registered 11,401 refugees and asylum-seekers, bringing the total of individuals registered to 56,045.

    UNHCR Response
    On 9 October, #UNHCR in coordination with the municipality of Benghazi, distributed water tanks, medical waste disposal bins and wheel chairs to 14 hospitals and clinics in Benghazi. This was part of UNHCR’s quick-impact projects (#QIPs). QIPs are small, rapidly implemented projects intended to help create conditions for peaceful coexistence between displaced persons and their hosting communities. QIPs also strengthen the resilience of these communities. So far in 2018, UNHCR implemented 83 QIPs across Libya.
    On 8 October, UNHC partner #CESVI began a three-day school bag distribution campaign at its social centre in Tripoli. The aim is to reach 1,000 children with bags in preparation for the new school year. Due to the liquidity crisis in Libya, the price of school materials has increased over the past years. With this distribution, UNHCR hopes to mitigate the financial impact that the start of the school year has on refugee families.
    UNHCR estimates that 5,893 individuals are detained in Libya, of whom 3,964 are of concern to UNHCR. On 7 October, UNHCR visited #Abu-Slim detention centre to deliver humanitarian assistance and address the concerns of refugees and asylum-seekers held in the facility. UNHCR distributed non-food items including blankets, hygiene kits, dignity kits, sleeping mats and water to all detained individuals. UNHCR carried out a Q&A session with refugees and migrants to discuss UNHCR’s activities and possible solutions for persons of concern. Security permitting, UNHCR will resume its registration activities in detention centres over the coming days, targeting all persons of concern.
    So far in 2018, UNHCR conducted 982 visits to detention centres and registered 3,600 refugees and asylum-seekers. As of 10 October, UNHCR distributed 15,282 core-relief items to refugees and migrants held in detention centres in Libya.
    Throughits partner #IMC, UNHCR continues to provide medical assistance in detention centres in Libya. So far in 2018, IMC provided 21,548 primary health care consultations at the detention centres and 231 medical referrals to public hospitals. As conditions in detention remain extremely dire, UNHCR continues to advocate for alternatives to detention in Libya and for solutions in third countries. Since 1 September 2017, 901 individuals have been submitted for resettlement to eight States (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland).

    http://reporting.unhcr.org/sites/default/files/UNHCR%20Libya%20Flash%20Update%20-%205-12OCT18.pdf
    #réinstallation #détention #centres_de_détention #HCR #gardes-côtes_libyens

    ping @_kg_ @isskein

    • Migranti, 100 persone trasferite su cargo e riportate in Libia. Alarm Phone: “Sono sotto choc, credevano di andare in Italia”

      Dopo l’allarme delle scorse ore e la chiamata del premier Conte a Tripoli, le persone (tra cui venti donne e dodici bambini, uno dei quali potrebbe essere morto di stenti) sono state trasferite sull’imbarcazione che batte bandiera della Sierra Leone in direzione Misurata. Ma stando alle ultime informazioni, le tensioni a bordo rendono difficoltoso lo sbarco. Intanto l’ong Sea Watch ha salvato 47 persone e chiede un porto dove attraccare.

      Gli hanno detto che sarebbero sbarcati in Italia e quando hanno scoperto che invece #Lady_Sharm, il cargo battente bandiera della Sierra Leone, li stava riportando a Misurata in Libia, sono iniziate le tensioni a bordo. Secondo Alarm Phone i 100 migranti, che ieri avevano lanciato l’allarme a 50 miglia dalle coste libiche, dicendo che stavano congelando, sono “sotto choc” e si rifiutano di sbarcare. Le comunicazioni però sono molto difficoltose: non ci sono giornalisti sul posto e mancano conferme ufficiali. Le difficoltà di far sbarcare i 100 migranti sono state confermate a ilfattoquotidiano.it. L’episodio ricorda quello della nave Nivin, quando a novembre scorso un gruppo di migranti si rifiutò per giorni di scendere e l’esercito libico decise di fare irruzione sull’imbarcazione.

      Poco dopo la mezzanotte era terminato il trasbordo sul mercantile inviato da Tripoli in loro soccorso. Le persone – tra cui venti donne e dodici bambini, uno dei quali potrebbe essere morto di stenti – sono state in balia del mare e del freddo per ore. Ore di angoscia che sono terminate con l’invio dei soccorsi: in serata il mercantile dirottato sul posto dalla Guardia costiera libica – su cui pare sia intervenuto personalmente il premier Giuseppe Conte – ha raggiunto la carretta, cominciando ad imbarcare i migranti. “Verranno portati in salvo nel porto di Misurata”, aveva fatto sapere in serata Palazzo Chigi, che in precedenza aveva sollecitato la guardia costiera libica affinché effettuasse quanto prima l’intervento.


      https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1087403549506658308?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E10
      Parallelamente altri 47 migranti, salvati dalla ong Sea Watch, attendono di avere notizie sulla loro destinazione finale: “Sono terrorizzati” dal possibile ritorno in Libia. “Le loro condizioni di salute sono buone e stazionarie”, ha detto all’agenzia Ansa l’equipaggio, “ma ora a preoccupare sono le condizioni meteo in peggioramento“.

      Di Maio: “D’ora in poi li porteremo a Marsiglia”
      “D’ora in poi i migranti che salviamo nel Mediterraneo glieli portiamo a Marsiglia – ha dichiarato questa mattina il vicepremier e ministro del Lavoro e dello Sviluppo economico, Luigi Di Maio, a Rtl 102.5 – Per far stare gli africani in Africa basta che la Francia stia a casa propria”. Il Viminale esprime soddisfazione: “Tutti sani e salvi, e riportati indietro, i 393 immigrati recuperati dalla Guardia Costiera libica nella giornata di ieri. In particolare, 143 sono stati riportati a Tripoli. 144 a Misurata, 106 ad al-Khoms”. La collaborazione funziona, gli scafisti, i trafficanti e i mafiosi devono capire che i loro affari sono finiti. Meno partenze, meno morti, la nostra linea non cambia” commenta il ministro dell’Interno Matteo Salvini.

      L’allarme e le richieste di aiuto inascoltate per ore
      Domenica mattina Alarm Phone, il sistema di allerta telefonico utilizzato per segnalare imbarcazioni in difficoltà, ha ricevuto la segnalazione del natante in avaria al largo di Misurata. Ora per ora, minuto per minuto, ha raccontato via tweet il dramma delle 100 persone stipate nell’imbarcazione facendo il resoconto delle innumerevoli segnalazioni effettuate a Roma, La Valletta e Tripoli, quest’ultima indicata da tutti come autorità competente a coordinare i soccorsi. “Abbiamo chiamato sette numeri differenti della sala operativa della cosiddetta Guardia costiera di Tripoli – raccontano i volontari – ma non abbiamo ricevuto risposta. Malta ci ha fornito un ottavo numero, che non risponde. Tutto questo è ridicolo. Ne basterebbe uno che funzionasse. Abbiamo avvisato Italia e Malta che la Libia non è raggiungibile. Nessuno ha attivato un’operazione di soccorso”.

      Affermazioni respinte dalla Marina libica, che con il suo portavoce, il brigadiere Ayoub Gassem, ha smentito che le richiesta di soccorso siano state ignorate, sottolineando che in mattinata altri 140 migranti sono stati salvati da una motovedetta di Tripoli. Dal canto suo la Guardia costiera italiana ha precisato che, non appena saputo dell’emergenza, “come previsto dalla normativa internazionale sul Sar ha immediatamente contattato la Guardia Costiera libica, nella cui area di responsabilità era in corso l’evento, che ha assunto il coordinamento e non potendo mandare propri mezzi perché impegnati nei precedenti soccorsi, ha inviato sul posto il mercantile della Sierra Leone”.

      I migranti: “Congeliamo, abbiamo paura di morire”
      A bordo del barcone i naufraghi hanno trascorso ore drammatiche: “Stiamo congelando, la situazione è disperata, aiutateci. Abbiamo paura di morire”, dicevano mentre imbarcavano acqua. Altri 47, salvati ieri da un gommone che stava per affondare, sono sulla Sea Watch, sempre al largo della Libia, in attesa di conoscere quale sarà il loro destino. “Nessuno ci dà informazioni, non sappiano cosa fare, quale sarà il porto dove attraccare – dicono dall’equipaggio – “Chiediamo istruzioni e restiamo in attesa. Siamo stati rimandati ai libici che però non rispondono. Non c’è modo di parlare con loro”.

      https://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2019/01/21/migranti-100-persone-trasferite-su-cargo-e-riportate-in-libia-alarm-phone-sono-sotto-choc-credevano-di-andare-in-italia/4911794

    • Il governo italiano elude il divieto di respingimenti collettivi

      La pietà per le 117 vittime del naufragio di venerdì 18 gennaio non è durata a lungo, e sono rimasti inascoltati tutti gli appelli volti a chiedere agli stati il rispetto degli obblighi di soccorso sanciti dal diritto internazionale. Una strage dopo l’altra, e sempre più rapidamente scattano i meccanismi di rimozione. Alla fine i “colpevoli” vengono indicati nelle ONG, ormai praticamente assenti, e non invece tra i governanti che hanno concluso accordi con autorità militari e guardiacoste che non rispettano i diritti umani, ed adesso omettono sistematicamente gli interventi di soccorso in acque internazionali.

      Si è conclusa nel peggiore dei modi l’operazione di ricerca e soccorso in acque internazionali di un gommone con circa cento persone a bordo, segnalato nella mattina di domenica 20 gennaio a circa 50 miglia a nord della città di Misurata. Per ore, che potevano fare la differenza tra la vita e la morte, praticamente per l’intera giornata di domenica, le autorità italiane, maltesi e libiche non hanno risposto alle richieste di aiuto rilanciate dall’organizzazione Alarm Phone.

      Senza l’insistenza delle organizzazioni umanitarie nessuno sarebbe andato a salvare le persone che erano ormai sul punto di annegare, e malgrado questo dato evidente, il ministro dell’interno Salvini non ha trovato altra risposta che inasprire le minacce contro le ONG, colpevoli di avere portato alla luce l’evento di soccorso, e sprattutto di avere salvato, in una precedente oprazione SAR, altre 46 persone portate a bordo della nave Sea Watch. Persone che ancora oggi rimangono abbandonate, con l’equipaggio della nave soccorritrice in alto mare, perchè nessun governo delle diverse zone SAR confinati nel Mediterraneo centrale ( Italia, Malta, Libia) risponde indicando un porto sicuro di sbarco, come sarebbe imposto dalle Convenzioni internazionali del diritto del mare e dal Diritto internazionale dei rifugiati. Sempre, ammesso e non concesso, che di Libia come stato unitario si possa parlare, e di una Guardia costiera “libica” con un Coordinamento centrale (MRCC) si possa disporre per garantire operazioni di soccorso che non possono essere legate alla ridotta capacità di intervento dei suoi assetti navali o alle pressioni diplomatiche di un governo straniero.

      Dopo una giornata in cui le autorità libiche avevano lasciato cadere le richieste di intervento, a 50 miglia a nord di Misurata, da parte delle autorità italiane, l’intervento del Presidente del Consiglio Conte, e di non meglio precisate componenti diplomatiche, ha indotto il governo di Tripoli a dirottare verso il gommone una nave cargo la Lady Shar con bandiera della Sierra Leone, ma in precedenza immatricolata con altro nome presso i registri maltesi, la nave commerciale più vicina in navigazione nella zona dei soccorsi, ed a effettuare un primo trasbordo dei naufraghi ormai stremati dal freddo. Successivamente, per quanto si è appreso dai media, sembrerebbe che alcune motovedette libiche avrebbero trasportato alcune persone a terra, riportandole nel porto di Misurata, dunque molto vicine al luogo dal quale erano state fatte partire dai trafficanti su un gommone fatiscente, approfittando del temporaneo miglioramento delle condizioni meteo. In realtà risulta che ai migranti “soccorsi” a bordo della nave commerciale “coordinata” dalle autorità libiche nessuno avesse detto che la nave li avrebbe sbarcati a Misurata. E che anzi qualcuno li aveva rassicurati che sarebbero stati sbarcati in Italia.

      Secondo le notizie più recenti però, una parte dei naufraghi starebbe facendo resistenza ancora a bordo della nave che li ha soccorsi, e si profilano altre violenze ai danni dei naufraghi, come già verificato proprio a Misurata, nel caso dello sbarco-irruzione operato a bordo della NIVIN. I naufraghi erano stati sbarcati con la forza dopo una irruzione delle milizie armate che sparavano con fucili proiettili di gomma ad altezza d’uomo. Mentre giornalisti ed operatori umanitari pure presenti nel porto di Misurata venivano tenuti lontani. Non ci sono state più notizie sulla sorte di quelle persone, fatte scomparire nel nulla. Questa è la “Libia”, meglio il territorio controllato dal governo di Tripoli e dalle milizie alleate, con cui collabora il governo italiano.

      A nulla sono serviti gli appelli perchè i migranti, che si trovavano ormai in acque internazionali, molto vicini al limite della zona SAR maltese, fossero portati in un porto sicuro Un place of safety (POS) che non si trova certo in Libia, neppure a Misurata come i fatti dimostrano. In Libia non ci sono place of safety per chi viene intercettato in alto mare, anche secondo quanto recentemente dichiarato dal Commissario per le Nazioni Unite per i rifugiati Grandi, sulla base di rapporti delle stesse Nazioni Unite, che documentano gli abusi che subiscono i migranti intercettati in alto mare e riportati indietro dalla sedicente Guardia costiera “libica”. Per comprendere la gravità delle violazioni del diritto internazionale commesse in questa occasione dal governo italiano occorre una breve ricostruzione dei rapporti intercorsi in questi ultimi due anni tra l’Italia ed il governo di Tripoli.

      2.Dopo gli accordi con la Libia del 2 febbraio 2017, ratificati dal Vertice euromediterraneo de La Valletta, a Malta, il giorno successivo, le autorità italiane hanno sempre operato per aggirare il divieto di respingimenti collettivi in mare, affermato dalla sentenza di condanna dell’Italia da parte della Corte Europea dei diritti dell’Uomo il 23 febbraio 2012 nel caso Hirsi.

      Occorreva chudere, o almeno ridurre in modo sostanziale, gli arrivi di migranti dalla Libia, dopo che i principali partiti allora di opposizione, e soprattutto la Lega ed i Cinquestelle, avevano conquistato fasce sempre più larghe di elettorato, utilizzando in modo strumentale l’allarme che si era fatto derivare dall’elevato numero di arrivi di migranti negli anni dal 2013 al 2016, effetto della crisi siriana e di una situazione di crescente instabilità in Libia e negli altri paesi dell’africa subsahariana. Per tutto questo occorreva delegare alla guardia costiera “libica” quell’attività di intercettazione e di respingimento collettivo che le unità italiane, in particolare la Guardia di finanza, non potevano più svolgere come avevano fatto nel 2009 e nel 2010, con Maroni ministro dell’interno. Cosa importava se le motovedette libiche non avevano a bordo neppure salvagenti o mezzi collettivi di salvataggio, in dotazione invece sulle navi delle ONG ?

      In questa direzione, con il supporto dell’Unione Europea ( missione Eunavfor Med) si sono addestrati centinaia di guardiacoste, nella veste di Guardia costiera “libica”, e si erano fornite motovedette e risorse finanziarie (Africa Trust Fund). Prima ancora che si arrivasse alla proclamazione di una zona SAR “libica”, si era quindi intensificata la collaborazione operativa con la sedicente Guardia costiera “libica”, come documentato dalla sentenze della magistratura di Catania, Ragusa e Palermo, al punto che i giudici arrivavano al punto di osservare quasi come scontato che il coordinamento sostanziale delle attività di ricerca e salvataggio (SAR) svolte dai libici in acque internazionali fosse di fatto demandato alle autorità italiane, presenti nel porto militare di Tripoli con la missione NAURAS.

      In un primo periodo, anche sulla base di operazioi di disinformazione alimentate da gruppi della estrema destra europea (GEFIRA), si cercavo di rallentare, se non dissuadere, con una forte pressione mediatica le attività delle navi delle ONG che operavano nelle acque del Mediterraneo centrale, per colmare un vuoto determinato dalla fine dell’operazione Mare Nostrum (2014) e poi dal progressivo ritiro degli assetti navali dell’operazione TRITON di Frontex.

      Nel giugno del 2017 un piano articolato su sette punti,proposto dall’allora ministro dell’interno Minniti, veniva proposto all’Unione Europea che lo approvava e si impegnava a finanziarlo. Tra le azioni previste dal piano rientravano anche le attività di collaborazione e coordinamento con la Guardia costiera “libica”. Gli obiettivi proposti all’Unione europea erano i seguenti :”  1) rafforzare la capacità della Libia nella sorveglianza marittima; 2) dare loro assistenza per la definizione di un’area marittima Sar (Search and rescue, ricerca e salvataggio); 3) istituire una Mrcc (maritime rescue coordination centre), una centrale operativa di coordinamento di salvataggio; 4) assistere la guardia costiera di Tripoli nelle procedure Sar; 5) irrobustire la cooperazione tra le agenzie internazionali e le autorità libiche; 6) intensificare gli interscambi operativi marittimi con l’Italia e gli altri stati Ue; 7) sviluppare le capacità di intervento ai confini di terra nel controllo dei traffici di esseri umani e di soccorso ai migranti in fuga.

      Con il Codice di condotta Minniti, alla fine del mese di luglio del 2017, venivano stabiliti obblighi pretestuosi che esulavano dalle prescrizioni stabilite nelle Convenzioni internazionali e si introduceva il principio che le navi private delle ONG avrebbeo dovuto operare nelle attività SAR senza interferire con le attività di soccorso che nel frattempo venivano affidate alla sedicente Guardia costiera libica, allora coordinata direttamente da personale italo-libico a bordo di una nave della Marina militare italiana della missione NAURAS di stanza nel porto militare di Abu Sittah a Tripoli. Tra le attività di supporto della missione Nauras a Tripoli, rientrava, fino al 28 giugno scorso, anche“l’importante compito di aiutare i libici a interfacciarsi con la Centrale operativa della Guardia costiera a Roma che coordina le operazioni di ricerca soccorso nel Mediterraneo centrale”. Questo coordinamento italiano delle attività di intercettazione in mare, affidate gia’ nella prima parte di quest’anno alla cd. Guardia costiera “libica“.

      Una previsione che contrastava con il riconoscimento della superiorità gerarchica ( rispetto al codice di condotta ed agli accordi bilterali) delle norme di diritto internazionale o di rango costituzionale, dal momento che già allora risultava evidente quanto gravi fossero le violazioni dei diritti ( e dei corpi) dei migranti sempre più frequenti in Libia, paese che ancora oggi non risulta firmatario della Convenzione di Ginevra sui rifugiati). Violazioni gravisssime che lasciavano segni evidenti nei corpi e nello spirito anche nelle persone che erano state bloccate in mare, in acque internazionali e riportate a terra in mano alle stesse milizie dalle quali erano fuggite.

      Il 26 luglio del 2017, all’indomani dell’incontro organizzato a Parigi sulla Libia, l’ex premier Gentiloni dichiarava addirittura che il capo del governo di Tripoli Serraj avrebbe chiesto l’aiuto dell’Italia ” in acque libiche con unità navali, per il contrasto ai trafficanti di esseri umani”.

      Nel mese di agosto del 2017 si concretizzava l’offensiva di alcune procure contro le navi delle ONG, con sequestri ed incriminazioni sempre più gravi, dopo una violenta campagna mediatica nei loro confronti, e soprattutto dopo che i loro equipaggi erano stati “infiltrati” da agenti sotto copertura che fornivano una ricostruzione artefatta delle attività di soccorso che avrebbe dovuto mostrare una “collusione” tra i trafficanti, gli scafisti, e gli operatori umanitari. Una “collusione” che veniva presto smontata da indagini difensive che dimostravano la artificiosità delle prove raccolte a base delle prime denunce, ma che comunque resta oggetto di un procedimento penale a Trapani. Il procedimento penale contro l’equipaggio della nave Juventa della ONG Jugend Rettet è infatti ancora in corso, mentre la Procura di Palermo ha chiesto ed ottenuto l’archiviazione di un analogo procedimento penale avviato presso il Tribunale di Palermo, contro la ONG spagnola Open Arms e contro la ONG tedesca Sea Watch. Anche per la Procura di Palermo nessun porto libico si poteva qualificare come “Place of safety (POS)” luogo di sbarco sicuro, e dunque bene avevano fatto le ONG, peraltro sotto coordinamento della Centrale operativa della Guardia costiera italiana (IMRCC), che in quel periodo avevano sbarcato in porti italiani i naufraghi raccolti nelle acque internazionali a nord della Libia.

      Dopo una serie di comunicati stampa e pesanti interventi mediatici, nonchè una audizione in Parlamento, la Procura di Catania non giungeva invece a formulare alcuno specifico capo di accusa, corrispondente alle prime dichiarazioni del Procuratore capo. Il processo avviato con il sequestro della nave Open Arms a Pozzallo nel mese di marzo del 2018, rimane ancora aperto, presso il Tribunale di Ragusa, dove il procedimento avviato a catania è stato trasferito per la caduta delle contestazioni relative alle ipotesi associative. Ma la nave è stata dissequestrata, dopo che il Giudice delle indagini preliminari, e poi il Tribunale di Ragusa, hanno ritenuto la Libia priva di porti sicuri e dunque conforme al diritto il comportamento del comandante che non aveva chiesto alle autorità libiche la indicazione di un porto di sbarco, ma sie era diretto invece verso le coste maltesi ed italiane per chiedere un POS (Place of safety), ricevendo anche da Malta un netto rifiuto di sbarco. Il Giudice delle indagini preliminari di Catania, decidendo su questo caso, rilevava il sostanziale coordinamento da parte delle autorità italiane (Operazione Nauras) delle attività di ricerca e salvataggio (SAR) condotte dalle autorità libiche nelle occasioni denunciate. Il Gip di Catania osservava in particolare che ” Anche questa eccezione non può essere condivisa, poiché le motovedette libiche erano intervenute per effettuare una operazione di soccorso, come richiesto da IMRCC di Roma e sotto l’egida italiana con le navi militari di stanza a Tripoli, e perciò non si può parlare minimamente di respingimento, ma solamente di soccorso e salvataggio in mare”.

      3.L’aggiramento della sentenza di condanna dell’Italia da parte della Corte europea dei diritti dell’uomo sul caso Hirsi era ormai realizzato. Con l’insediamento del nuovo governo Salvini-Di Maio-Conte, già nelle prime dichiarazioni del ministro dell’interno si percepiva un ulteriore inasprimento della linea di condotta delle autorità italiane nelle occasioni ancora frequenti di interventi di ricerca e soccorso in acque internazionali sulla rotta libica operati dalle navi delle ONG. Per tutta l’estate dello scorso anno era una guerra aperta contro le ONG, con espedienti burocratici, come le pressio i sugli stati di bandiera delle navi umanitarie perchè le cancellassero dai registri navali, e con la minaccia di altre sanzioni penali, unico strumento per “chiudere i porti”.

      Cresceva anche la pressione diplomatica sulla Libia e sull’IMO a Londra (Organizzazione marittima internazionale che fa capo alle Nazioni Unite) perchè fosse riconosciuta una zona SAR “libica” in modo da delegare completamente, almeno sulla carta, il coordinamento delle attività di salvataggio ad assetti libici ed alla costituenda Centrale operativa libica (IRCC). Una autentica finzione, dal momento che la Libia non ha ancora oggi organi di governo o forze armate uniche per tutto il suo vasto territorio, coste e mare territoriale compreso, controllato da milizie in perenne conflitto tra loro. Il 28 giugno 2018, l’IMO inseriva nei suoi data base la autoproclamata zona SAR “libica” comunicata dal governo di Tripoli che neppure riusciva a controllare il territorio dell’intera città, ma che veniva incontro alle richieste del governo italiano, dopo che una prima richiesta rivolta dai libici all’IMO nel dicembre del 2017 era stata ritirata per la evidente mancanza dei requisiti richiesti a livello internazionale per il riconoscimento di una zona SAR.

      Se fino al 28 giugno scorso era almeno chiaro che le responsabilità di coordinamento spettavano tutte alla Centrale operativa della Guardia costiera italiana (IMRCC), a partire da quella data, con la notifica di una zona SAR “libica” da parte del governo di Tripoli all’IMO a Londra,a partire da quella data è venuta meno qualsiasi certezza circa le responsabilità di coordinamento dei soccorsi, e dunque di individuazione del punto di sbarco. Non si è riusciti neppure a risolvere il problema ricorrente della sovrapposizione tra la zona SAR maltese e la zona SAR italiana, a sud di Lampedusa e Malta, già occasione di conflitti di competenze, che avevano portato a tragedie con centinaia di morti, come in occasione della cd. strage dei bambini dell’11 ottobre 2013. Per quella strage è ancora in corso un procedimento penale presso il Tribunale di Roma, dopo due richieste di archiviazione da parte delle procure di Agrigento e Roma.

      Intanto il responsabile della sedicente Guardia costiera libica da Tripoli annunciava che gl