• Emprisonnés, torturés : le sort d’exilés soudanais rejetés par l’Europe

    Au terme d’une enquête entre l’Europe et le Soudan, Mediapart et ses partenaires du collectif The Migration Newsroom ont retrouvé la trace d’exilés soudanais expulsés de France, des #Pays-Bas ou d’#Italie. Tous racontent les menaces subies à leur retour, voire les tortures. De quoi interroger les relations privilégiées entretenues par plusieurs États de l’UE avec la #dictature.

    Jalal a disparu. Plus personne n’a de nouvelles du jeune Soudanais depuis quelques semaines. Expulsé de #France le 28 novembre, l’homme originaire du Darfour nourrissait des regrets. « Devant l’Ofpra [l’office chargé d’attribuer le statut de réfugié – ndlr], il n’a pas raconté son histoire », se lamente un membre d’une association de soutien aux exilés. Résultat, l’office a rejeté logiquement sa demande. Et Jalal a quitté la France sans avoir pu être entendu, malgré une demande de réexamen déposée lors de son passage en centre de rétention. « Je ne veux pas rentrer, je risque de mourir là-bas », expliquait-il dans une interview, quelques semaines avant son départ.

    Dès son arrivée à l’aéroport de Khartoum, en novembre dernier, Jalal est interrogé par des policiers soudanais, selon plusieurs de ses proches que nous avons pu joindre. Ces agents lui posent les mêmes questions qu’à d’autres de ses concitoyens contactés au cours de cette enquête : par où est-il passé lors de son voyage ? Qui a-t-il rencontré ? Qu’a-t-il dit aux autorités françaises dans le cadre de sa demande d’asile ? L’État soudanais se montre très friand de ces informations : on avait d’ailleurs interrogé Jalal sur des éléments similaires lors d’un rendez-vous au consulat en France.

    À Khartoum, ce « débrief » des exilés de retour au pays est l’apanage du Service des renseignements généraux, le nouveau nom du NISS, le puissant service de renseignement soudanais, rebaptisé au printemps dernier après la destitution d’Omar el-Béchir, dictateur pendant trois décennies visé par un mandat d’arrêt de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) pour « génocide » au Darfour et « crimes contre l’humanité ».

    À l’aéroport, l’entretien avec les policiers ne dure pas. Jalal sort au bout d’une quarantaine de minutes et se rend chez des amis. Dans la foulée, il passe un coup de fil à Stéphanie, jeune Française avec laquelle il est en contact. Jalal lui annonce son projet de rallier Sennar, une ville à 300 kilomètres au sud de la capitale. Avant cela, il doit juste passer dire bonjour à un proche à Omdurman, une ville qui fait face à Khartoum de l’autre côté du Nil.

    C’est alors qu’il est arrêté par les policiers et emmené en prison – c’est un ami qui rapporte la nouvelle, le jour même, à Stéphanie en France. Jalal est enfermé dans une cellule, seul. Interrogé pendant quatre jours, matin et soir.

    Il n’a pas subi de violences physiques, a-t-il confié à l’un de ses proches, Hamad, que nous avons pu joindre. Mais derrière les barreaux, les policiers l’ont interrogé sur son voyage en France ainsi que sur les relations entretenues en exil. « Ils voulaient savoir qui étaient les Soudanais qu’il a vus en France », relate Hamad. Les officiers semblaient savoir tout de son retour au pays : chez qui il a séjourné, les gens croisés au cours de sa seule journée de liberté… « Il n’a pas été arrêté par hasard. À Khartoum, il y a 4 ou 5 millions de personnes, il était probablement surveillé. »

    Alors que le Soudan est l’une des destinations les plus risquées vers lesquelles la France expulse, trente ressortissants de ce pays ont été renvoyés à Khartoum, entre 2014 et 2018, depuis les centres de rétention de l’Hexagone. Si l’on ajoute ceux que la France a renvoyés vers un autre pays de l’Union européenne (susceptible de les expulser à leur tour), le nombre grimpe à plus de 285, d’après Eurostat. En parallèle, « il y a eu 73 retours volontaires en 2017, et 43 en 2018 », avance le ministère de l’intérieur.

    Pendant que plusieurs associations se battent pour faire cesser ces renvois, à commencer par la Cimade et Amnesty International, ce sont plus de 700 Soudanais qui ont été placés en rétention l’an dernier, avec ou sans expulsion à la clef, une partie d’entre eux étant libérés après un recours (ou autre raison).

    Ce qu’il advient de ceux qui atterrissent à Khartoum ? Personne ne le sait. « Et on n’a pas les moyens de vérifier », confiait un diplomate interrogé en février 2019. Cette question fait l’objet d’une véritable cécité de la part des gouvernements européens, dont certains entretiennent une relation privilégiée avec le Soudan, pays clé de la Corne de l’Afrique aux frontières sud de l’Égypte et de la Libye.

    C’est pourquoi Mediapart, en collaboration avec le collectif The Migration Newsroom, a enquêté pendant plusieurs mois entre la France, le Soudan, les Pays-Bas et l’Italie pour retrouver la trace de quinze expulsés d’Europe (interviewés pour certains à Khartoum même). Et les brimades qu’ils racontent tous, les menaces, voire les tortures subies à leur renvoi au pays, obligent à questionner les relations privilégiées entretenues par plusieurs pays de l’UE avec le Soudan.

    Depuis la France, en particulier, Jalal n’est pas le seul à avoir été expulsé et emprisonné, si l’on en croit les témoignages de deux anciens hommes incarcérés à la prison de Bahri, Mohammed S., célèbre dissident, et Khaled (dont nous préférons taire le vrai prénom). Emprisonnés entre mars et novembre 2017, ils répercutent les confidences de deux de leurs compatriotes, codétenus, renvoyés de France après le rejet de leur demande d’asile. Le premier est originaire de la partie orientale du pays, a grandi à deux pas de la frontière avec l’Érythrée ; le second, venu du Darfour, est zaghawa, une ethnie dont les foyers de population sont à cheval entre le Soudan et le Tchad.

    À leur atterrissage à Khartoum, les policiers s’attardent sur leurs profils : ils veulent tout savoir de la demande d’asile du premier, qui avoue s’être fait passer pour érythréen en France afin d’obtenir plus facilement des papiers. Ils soupçonnent le second d’être un espion pour un groupe armé qui se bat pour la libération du Darfour. Tous deux affirment avoir été torturés à de multiples reprises, avant d’être libérés.

    Leur description correspond à celle de deux exilés que la France a renvoyés à la même époque : Mohammed H. et Omar H. En centre de rétention, à Oissel (Seine-Maririme), tous deux avaient reçu la visite d’officiels soudanais, parmi lesquels des militaires, présents en France pour faciliter l’identification et l’éloignement forcé de déboutés de l’asile. L’expulsion survient quelques semaines seulement après cette visite. En permettant celle-ci, la France les a-t-elle mis en danger ? Pas impossible.

    Paris vient d’accorder sa protection, en décembre, à un Soudanais « identifié » en Belgique par une mission similaire. Dans cette décision favorable que Mediapart a pu consulter, la Cour nationale du droit d’asile, basée à Montreuil, écrit sans détour : « Le fait que les autorités soudanaises l’ont interrogé [en Belgique – ndlr] le 21 septembre 2017 sur sa famille et ses activités donne des raisons sérieuses de penser que les craintes de M. d’être placé en détention à son arrivée à Khartoum et maltraité par des membres des forces de sécurité soudanaises sont fondées. »

    Il faut aussi raconter l’histoire de Rami, originaire du Darfour, qui s’était trouvé une famille d’adoption à Nantes, sous l’aile de Françoise, retraitée investie dans le milieu associatif local. « Je l’appelle Raminou, vous pouvez lui demander », rigolait-elle au téléphone. Puis le 3 août dernier, Rami, marqué par son passage en Libye, est renvoyé à Khartoum après un long séjour au centre de rétention de Rennes et le rejet de sa demande d’asile. À l’aéroport Charles-de-Gaulle, les policiers français lui lient les mains et les pieds, le portent jusqu’à l’appareil à bras-le-corps. « Ils m’ont emmené dans l’avion comme un mouton, c’était très humiliant », raconte l’homme que nous avons pu joindre au Soudan, installé depuis dans l’est du pays.

    Les policiers français livrent ensuite Rami aux autorités locales. « L’échange » intervient dans le même bureau par lequel Jalal a transité, contrairement à ce qu’indiquent les autorités françaises selon lesquelles « la remise [des expulsés] se fait au pied de l’avion ». Sur la porte d’entrée, il est écrit « Enquêtes » en arabe. Rami comprend rapidement qu’il s’agit du bureau des services de sécurité soudanais. Pendant quarante-cinq minutes, il a le droit à un débrief en règle. Les fonctionnaires veulent tout savoir de son voyage : « Pourquoi est-il parti en Europe ? Qui a-t-il rencontré sur son chemin ? Comment a-t-il financé le voyage ? Qu’a-t-il dit aux autorités européennes dans le cadre de sa demande d’asile ? »

    Le récit d’Ibrahim, renvoyé le 3 décembre dernier après trois années en France, est en tout point comparable. La même escorte. Les mêmes liens qui lui scient les pieds et les bras dans l’avion (« La police m’avait dit que si je refusais de monter, j’allais un an en prison »). La même arrivée à Khartoum. Le même bureau, où lui sont posées les mêmes questions. Il se trouve que le jeune homme, en 2016, avait été arrêté à Karthoum dans le cadre de manifestations, et qu’il avait été emprisonné pendant treize jours. Alors Ibrahim n’a pas envie que l’on fouille son passé : « Je leur ai dit tout ce qu’il voulait savoir. » Nom, numéro de téléphone, ville d’origine.

    Quand on l’interroge aujourd’hui sur le changement de gouvernement à Khartoum et la fin du règne d’Omar el-Béchir (à l’issue d’un mouvement de contestation populaire, en avril dernier), Ibrahim laisse parler son amertume : « Le NISS n’a pas changé, tout comme la police. La seule chose qui a changé, c’est le président. »

    Ces persécutions à l’encontre des « retournés », de fait, ne datent pas d’hier. Mediapart et The Migration Newsroom ont pu reconstituer, aussi, le parcours de huit autres ressortissants soudanais appréhendés entre 2015 et 2017, menacés et violentés. Six ont notamment été renvoyés de Jordanie, en décembre 2015, dont quatre se sont retrouvés sous écrou à leur arrivée, entre quatre et vingt-deux jours. Tous font état de nombreuses violences et de mauvais traitements.

    Un autre a été expulsé des Pays-Bas le 8 décembre 2017. Son récit ? En tout point semblable à celui des expulsés de France. Lui aussi a été livré directement par la police néerlandaise au service de renseignement soudanais. Lui aussi a été débriefé de longues minutes sur le contenu de sa demande d’asile ou le déroulement de son parcours migratoire. Mais à l’issue de l’entretien, le jeune homme a été emmené, pieds et poings liés, dans le quartier d’Al-Sahafa à Khartoum, dans un bâtiment des Services de renseignement.

    Il y a été enfermé pendant treize jours, torturé et frappé à de multiples reprises à coups de tuyaux en fer.

    À sa sortie, les fonctionnaires soudanais l’ont assigné à résidence, avec l’obligation de venir signer chaque jour une feuille de « présence ». Il a refusé et il est entré en clandestinité.

    Au « frigo »

    Expulsé d’Italie en septembre 2017, Ahmed* a passé, lui, trois mois en prison. Sa santé en pâtit encore aujourd’hui. « Douleurs dans la poitrine, problème d’estomac, maux de têtes », égrène le jeune homme quand nous le rencontrons dans la capitale soudanaise, fin décembre 2019. Voilà deux ans qu’il se cache bien loin de la ville et de la surveillance policière qui s’y déploie. Il travaille dans la construction, confie-t-il, pour nourrir sa famille. Il vit au sud du Darfour, près de la frontière centrafricaine.

    Le récit qu’il fait de son passage en prison est glaçant. Ahmed y séjourne dès sa sortie de l’aéroport. Ce jour-là, il n’est pas le seul à être renvoyé : une dizaine de ressortissants soudanais sont expulsés avec lui. Comme pour Jalal, Rami ou Ibrahim, le jeune homme, trente ans, est livré, dès sa descente d’avion, par son escorte italienne aux policiers du NISS. Arrivé dans les bureaux du service de sécurité soudanais, les fonctionnaires le questionnent. Ahmed est membre d’une ethnie darfouri non arabe, les Dadjo, particulièrement ciblée pendant le génocide au milieu des années 2000. Une grande partie a passé la frontière pour se réfugier au Tchad. C’est d’ailleurs pour cette raison qu’Ahmed a décidé de quitter le pays. « Quand j’étais à l’université, j’étais assez actif politiquement, confie-t-il. À mon retour, le NISS pensait que j’avais donné des informations à des agences “étrangères” sur ce qui se passait au Darfour. »

    Au terme de son interrogatoire, d’une petite quarantaine de minutes, les policiers lui attachent les mains et recouvrent son visage d’un sac. Il est emmené en voiture à la prison de Shendi, l’un des complexes du NISS. Ahmed est installé dans une petite cellule, seul, dans le noir. C’est là qu’il est enfermé pendant trois mois, d’après le récit qu’il en fait. Les policiers l’interrogent à cinq reprises, avec des questions portant sur son séjour en Europe, les informations qu’il aurait pu livrer sur le Soudan : « Si je ne répondais pas aux questions, les officiers étaient de plus en plus nombreux dans la pièce. Au maximum, ils étaient sept autour de moi. Une fois, ils ont menacé de me tuer. »

    En prison, Ahmed est témoin de nombreux actes de torture, notamment un jeune homme électrocuté par les militaires. L’un des traitements les plus cruels auxquels il est soumis ? D’incessantes variations de température dans sa cellule. Soit les policiers arrêtent la climatisation – et c’est la fournaise. Soit, ils la poussent au maximum, le froid est alors glacial. De nombreux militants, interrogés dans une enquête de la BBC, ont décrit des pratiques similaires lors de la révolution soudanaise. Ce type de cellule, surnommée le « frigo », aurait été utilisé depuis 2009 par la police soudanaise pour faire craquer les détenus.

    Au bout de trois mois, Ali est relâché. Non sans quelques précautions de la part de ses anciens geôliers : « Ils ont pris son numéro de téléphone. Après ma sortie, ils m’appelaient tous les jours. Il me disait : “Si tu fais quelque chose, on viendra te chercher. Nous connaissons ta famille, si tu disparais, nous irons les chercher” », témoigne le jeune homme.

    Ali a finalement quitté Khartoum au bout de quarante-cinq jours. Là où il habite, pas de réseau. Il n’a plus eu de nouvelles des policiers. Mais la crainte est toujours là. « Il n’y a pas de droit au Darfour. Il y a des hommes en armes dans la rue, sans aucun mandat. Comment voulez-vous que la situation ait changé ? »

    Il y a plusieurs années déjà, Amnesty International s’était inquiété, dans deux rapports, des risques pour les exilés soudanais renvoyés en particulier depuis la Belgique et l’Italie, après le refus de leur demande d’asile. En décembre 2017, l’Institut Tahrir annonçait que plusieurs demandeurs d’asile en provenance de Belgique avaient ainsi été violentés à leur retour – des conclusions mises en doute un an plus tard par un rapport du CGRA, l’équivalent de l’Ofpra outre-Quiévrain.

    Un accord conclu entre l’Italie et le Soudan, en août 2016, avait aussi été éventé, quelques semaines plus tard, à la suite du renvoi de quarante exilés soudanais par charter. Cet accord a depuis été dénoncé par des militants des droits humains et des avocats – la procédure judiciaire est toujours en cours.

    Côté français, un article de StreetPress avait, en 2017, dévoilé l’existence de liens entre la dictature et Paris : échanges d’informations, visite d’officiels soudanais dans les centres de rétention pour faciliter l’expulsion de ressortissants vers leurs pays d’origine… « Aucun accord n’a été conclu avec les autorités soudanaises et il n’y a pas eu de nouveaux contacts depuis la mission de 2017, oppose aujourd’hui le ministère de l’intérieur. On ne peut donc pas parler de “partenariat” avec les autorités soudanaises. »

    Interrogé sur le cas de ces exilés dont le retour au pays s’avère dangereux, la place Beauvau se borne à des commentaires d’ordre légal : « Une mesure d’éloignement ne peut être décidée que si elle est conforme aux conventions internationales ratifiées par la France (Convention européenne de sauvegarde des droits de l’homme et de protection des libertés fondamentales et Convention de Genève relative au statut des réfugiés). » En effet.

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/110220/emprisonnes-tortures-le-sort-d-exiles-soudanais-rejetes-par-l-europe

    #renvois #expulsions #retour #Soudan #réfugiés #asile #migrations #réfugiés_soudanais #torture #prison #emprisonnement

    signalé par @karine4
    ping @isskein @reka @_kg_

    –-------------

    voir aussi ce qui s’était passé lors de renvois de #réfugiés_sri-lankais depuis la #Suisse...

    ODAE roman | Un Sri lankais passe deux ans en prison après son renvoi : la CourEDH condamne la Suisse
    https://seenthis.net/messages/578094

  • Top UN official accuses US of torturing #Chelsea_Manning | US news | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/dec/31/chelsea-manning-us-torture-un-official-wikileak

    Un haut responsable de l’#ONU accuse les #Etats-Unis d’avoir torturé Chelsea Manning – Anti-K
    https://www.anti-k.org/2020/01/02/un-haut-responsable-de-lonu-accuse-les-etats-unis-davoir-torture-chelsea-man

    Nils Melzer, le rapporteur spécial des #Nations_unies sur la #torture, a fait cette accusation dans une lettre envoyée en novembre mais qui n’a été publiée que mardi.

    Dans la missive, Melzer dit que Manning est soumis à « une mesure de contrainte de plus en plus sévère et illimitée qui remplit tous les éléments constitutifs de la torture ou d’autres peines ou traitements #cruels, #inhumains ou #dégradants ».

    [...]

    ... Melzer a déclaré que la détention de Manning « n’est pas une sanction légale mais une mesure coercitive de durée progressive et sévère, équivalente à de la torture et devrait être interrompu et supprimé sans délai ».

  • 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

  • Privatised Push-Back of the #Nivin

    In November 2018, five months after Matteo Salvini was made Italy’s Interior Minister, and began to close the country’s ports to rescued migrants, a group of 93 migrants was forcefully returned to Libya after they were ‘rescued’ by the Nivin, a merchant ship flying the Panamanian flag, in violation of their rights, and in breach of international refugee law.

    The migrants’ boat was first sighted in the Libyan Search and Rescue (SAR) Zone by a Spanish surveillance aircraft, part of Operation EUNAVFOR MED – Sophia, the EU’s anti-smuggling mission. The EUNAVFOR MED – Sophia Command passed information to the Italian and Libyan Coast Guards to facilitate the interception and ‘pull-back’ of the vessel to Libya. However, as the Libyan Coast Guard (LYCG) patrol vessels were unable to perform this task, the Italian Coast Guard (ICG) directly contacted the nearby Nivin ‘on behalf of the Libyan Coast Guard’, and tasked it with rescue.

    LYCG later assumed coordination of the operation, communicating from an Italian Navy ship moored in Tripoli, and, after the Nivin performed the rescue, directed it towards Libya.

    While the passengers were initially told they would be brought to Italy, when they realised they were being returned to Libya, they locked themselves in the hold of the ship.

    A standoff ensured in the port of Misrata which lasted ten days, until the captured passengers were violently removed from the vessel by Libyan security forces, detained, and subjected to multiple forms of ill-treatment, including torture.

    This case exemplifies a recurrent practice that we refer to as ‘privatised push-back’. This new strategy has been implemented by Italy, in collaboration with the LYCG, since mid-2018, as a new modality of delegated rescue, intended to enforce border control and contain the movement of migrants from the Global South seeking to reach Europe.

    This report is an investigation into this case and new pattern of practice.

    Using georeferencing and AIS tracking data, Forensic Oceanography reconstructed the trajectories of the migrants’ vessel and the Nivin.

    Tracking data was cross-referenced with the testimonies of passengers, the reports by rescue NGO WatchTheMed‘s ‘Alarm Phone’, a civilian hotline for migrants in need of emergency rescue; a report by the owner of the Nivin, which he shared with a civilian rescue organisation, the testimonies of MSF-France staff in Libya, an interview with a high-ranking LYCG official, official responses, and leaked reports from EUNAVFOR MED.

    Together, these pieces of evidence corroborate one other, and together form and clarify an overall picture: a system of strategic delegation of rescue, operated by a complex of European actors for the purpose of border enforcement.

    When the first–and preferred–modality of this strategic delegation, which operates through LYCG interception and pull-back of the migrants, did not succeed, those actors, including the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Rome, opted for a second modality: privatised push-back, implemented through the LYCG and the merchant ship.

    Despite the impression of coordination between European actors and the LYCG, control and coordination of such operations remains constantly within the firm hands of European—and, in particular, Italian—actors.

    In this case, as well as in others documented in this report, the outcome of the strategy was to deny migrants fleeing Libya the right to leave and request protection in Italy, returning them to a country in which they have faced grave violations. Through this action, Italy has breached its obligation of non-refoulement, one of the cornerstones of international refugee law.

    This report is the basis for a legal submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee by Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) on behalf of an individual who was shot and forcefully removed from the Nivin.

    https://forensic-architecture.org/investigation/nivin
    #Méditerranée #rapport #Charles_Heller #asile #frontières #migrations #réfugiés #mer_Méditerranée #push-back #push-backs #refoulement #refoulements #privatisation #Italie #Libye #operation_sophia #EUNAVFOR_Med #gardes-côtes_libyens #sauvetage #Misrata #torture #privatised_push-back #push-back_privatisé #architecture_forensique #externalisation #navires_marchands #Salvini #Matteo_Salvini

    Pour télécharger le rapport :
    https://content.forensic-architecture.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/2019-12-18-FO-Nivin-Report.pdf

    –-----

    Sur le cas du Nivin, voir aussi, sur seenthis, ce fil de discussion :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/735627

    • Migrants refoulés en Libye : l’Italie accusée d’embrigader la marine marchande

      En marge du Forum mondial sur les réfugiés, plusieurs ONG ont annoncé mercredi saisir un comité de l’ONU dans l’espoir de faire cesser les refoulements de migrants vers la Libye .

      De son identité il n’a été révélé que ses initiales. SDG a fui la guerre au Soudan du Sud. En novembre 2018, avec une centaine d’autres migrants embarqués sur un canot pour traverser la Méditerranée, il est secouru par un cargo battant pavillon panaméen, le Nivin. Mais l’équipage, suivant ainsi les instructions des autorités italiennes, ramène les naufragés vers la Libye et le port de Misrata. Les migrants refusent de débarquer, affirmant qu’ils préfèrent mourir sur le navire plutôt que de retourner dans les centres de détention libyens.

      Il s’ensuit un bras de fer d’une dizaine de jours. Finalement, les Libyens donnent l’assaut et les migrants sont débarqués de force. SDG est blessé, puis emprisonné et maltraité. Il restera avec une balle en plastique dans la jambe pendant six mois. Le jeune homme est aujourd’hui à Malte, où il a pu déposer une demande d’asile. Il a finalement réussi la traversée, à sa huitième tentative.

      C’est en son nom que plusieurs ONG ont déposé une plainte contre l’Italie mercredi auprès du Comité des droits de l’homme de l’ONU. Cet organe, composé de 18 experts, n’émet que des avis consultatifs. « Cela ira plus vite que devant la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme (CEDH). Nous visons l’Italie, car le comité de l’ONU ne se prononce que sur les violations commises par des Etats, nous ne pourrions attaquer l’Union européenne », justifie Violeta Moreno-Lax, de l’ONG Global Legal Action. L’Italie, en première ligne face à l’arrivée de boat people, avait déjà été condamnée par la CEDH en 2012 pour le refoulement de migrants en Libye. « Depuis, Rome fait tout pour contourner cet arrêt », dénonce la juriste.

      « Le choix impossible des équipages »

      L’une des tactiques, ont exposé les ONG lors d’une conférence de presse, est d’embrigader la marine marchande pour qu’elle ramène les naufragés en Libye. « La décision de l’ancien ministre de l’Intérieur Matteo Salvini de fermer les ports italiens aux navires de sauvetage en juin 2018 a créé une onde de choc en Méditerranée, décrit le chercheur suisse Charles Heller, qui documente la disparition de migrants en mer. Les autres pays européens ont retiré leurs bateaux, parce qu’ils risquaient d’être bloqués faute de ports où débarquer les migrants. Ce sont donc les navires marchands qui sont appelés à remplir le vide. Ces équipages sont face à un choix impossible. Soit ils se conforment aux instructions des autorités maritimes italiennes et violent le droit de la mer, qui oblige les marins à débarquer les naufragés vers un port sûr. Soit ils résistent et s’exposent à des poursuites judiciaires. Dans les faits, beaucoup de navires évitent de porter secours aux embarcations en détresse. »

      Ces derniers mois, Charles Heller a recensé 13 navires marchands qui ont refoulé des migrants en Libye. Parmi ces cas, deux tentatives n’ont pas réussi, les naufragés se rebellant contre un retour en Libye. « Il faut comprendre qu’une fois débarqués en Libye, les migrants sont détenus de façon totalement arbitraire. Les centres sont inadaptés, la nourriture est insuffisante, les maladies comme la tuberculose y font des ravages et les disparitions ne sont pas rares, en particulier les femmes », détaille Julien Raickman, le chef de mission de Médecins sans frontières en Libye.


      https://www.letemps.ch/monde/migrants-refoules-libye-litalie-accusee-dembrigader-marine-marchande

    • Migranti, un report accusa l’Italia: «Respingimento illegale dei 93 salvati dal mercantile Nivin e riportati in Libia con la forza»

      Le prove in un documento della Forensic Oceanography presso la Goldsmith University of London. Nell’ultimo anno, chiamando navi commerciali a soccorrere barche in difficoltà, sarebbero stati 13 i casi analoghi.

      «Qui MRCC Roma. A nome della Guardia costiera libica per la salvezza delle vite in mare vi preghiamo di procedere alla massima velocità per dare assistenza ad una barca in difficoltà con circa 70 persone a bordo. Vi preghiamo di contattare urgentemente la Guardia costiera libica attraverso questo centro di ricerca e soccorso ai seguenti numeri di telefono». Ai quali rispondono sempre gli italiani.

      Un dispaccio del centro di ricerca e soccorso di Roma delle 19.39 del 7 novembre del 2018 dimostra che a coordinare l’operazione di salvataggio di un gruppo di migranti poi riportati in Libia dal mercantile Nivin battente bandiera panamense fu l’Italia. In 93, segnalati prima da un aereo di Eunavformed, poi dal centralino Alarmphone, furono presi a bordo dal Nivin e, con l’inganno, sbarcati con la forza a Misurata dall’esercito libico dopo essere rimasti per dieci giorni asserragliati sul ponte del mercantile. Picchiati, feriti, rinchiusi di nuovo nei centri di detenzione in un paese in guerra.

      Un respingimento di massa illegittimo, contrario al diritto internazionale, che sarebbe stato dunque coordinato dall’Italia secondo una strategia di salvataggio delegato ai privati per applicare il controllo delle frontiere. Un «modello di pratica» che - secondo un rapporto redatto da Charles Heller di Forensic Oceanography, ramo della Forensic Architecture Agency basata alla Goldsmiths University of London - l’Italia e l’Europa avrebbero applicato ben 13 volte nell’ultimo anno, in coincidenza con la politica italiana dei porti chiusi.

      Caso finora unico, alcune delle persone riportate in Libia sono state rintracciate nei centri di detenzione da Msf che ne ha raccolto le testimonianze che - incrociate con i documenti e le risposte alle richieste di informazione date da Eunavformed e dalla stessa Guardia costiera libica - hanno consentito di ricostruire quello che viene definito nello studio «una pratica ricorrente di respingimenti, una nuova modalità di soccorso delegato ai privati» che verrebbe attuato quando le motovedette della guardia costiera libica, come avvenne nel caso del 7 novembre 2018, sono impegnate in altri interventi. «Impegnandosi in questa pratica - è l’accusa del report - l’Italia usa violenza extraterritoriale per contenere i movimenti dei migranti e viola l’obbligo di non respingimento». Per questo il Glan, l’organizzazione di avvocati, accademici e giornalisti investigativi Global Legal Action Network ha presentato una denuncia contro l’Italia al Comitato per i diritti umani delle Nazioni Unite per conto di uno dei migranti riportati indietro. E’ la prima volta che accade.

      La partenza
      Nella notte tra il 6 e 7 novembre 2018 dalla costa di Zlitan parte un gommone con 93 persone a bordo di sette nazionalità diverse. C’è anche una donna con un bimbo di quattro mesi. Alle 15.25 del 7 novembre la barca viene avvistata in zona Sar libica da un aereo spagnolo dell’operazione Sophia che - secondo quanto riferito da Eunavformed - «dichiara che non c’erano assetti navali nelle vicinanze». Tramite il quartier generale della missione che, in quel momento, era sulla nave San Marco della marina italiana, l’informazione con le coordinate navali della posizione della barca viene passata al centro di ricerca e soccorso di Roma che le trasmette a quello libico. Il commodoro libico Masoud Abdalsamd riferisce che le motovedette libiche sono impegnate in altre attività e il gommone continua la sua navigazione.

      La richiesta di soccorso
      Due ore dopo, alle 17.18, dal gommone un primo contatto con il centralino Alarm Phone che comunica le coordinate al centro di soccorso di Roma e monitora la zona: non ci sono navi vicine e l’unica Ong presente, la Mare Jonio, è a Lampedusa. Roma ( che era già informata) chiama Tripoli, la guardia costiera libica identifica la Nivin, un mercantile già in rotta verso Misurata ma le manca l’attrezzatura per comunicare e dirigere la Nivin e chiede a Roma di farlo «a suo nome». Da quel momento è MRCC a prendere in mano il coordinamento, dà istruzioni al comandante della Nivin e dirige il soccorso.

      L’arrivo dei libici
      Alle 21.34, un dispaccio del centro di ricerca e soccorso dei libici annuncia la presa del coordinamento delloperazione ma la comunicazione parte dallo stesso numero nella disponibilità della Marina italiana sulla nave di stanza a Tripoli. Alle 3.30 la Nivin soccorre i migranti. Saliti a bordo i marinai li tranquillizzano dicendo loro che saranno portati in Italia. Ma quando vedono arrivare una motovedetta libica i migranti capiscono di essere stati ingannati, rifiutano il trasbordo e si barricano sulla tolda della nave. I libici dopo un poò rinunciano e la Nivin prosegue verso Misurata dicendo ai migranti di essere in rotta verso Malta. Un’altra bugia.

      Lo sbarco a Misurata
      I migranti rimangono asserragliati anche quando la nave entra nel porto libico. Ci resteranno dieci giorni chiedendo disperatamente aiuto ai media internazionali con i telefoni cellulari. Il 20 novembre l’intervento di forza dei militari libici armati pone fine alla loro odissea. Alcuni migranti vengono picchiati, feriti, ricondotti nei centri di detenzione dove alcuni di loro vengono intercettati dall’equipe di Medici senza frontiere che raccoglie le loro testimonianze che si incrociano perfettamente con i documenti recuperati.

      Il ruolo dell’Italia
      Ne viene fuori un quadro che combacia perfettamente con quanto già evidenziato da un’inchiesta in via di conclusione della Procura di Agrigento coordinata dal procuratore aggiunto Salvatore Vella. Un quadro in cui l’Italia, nonostante gli accordi con la Libia, prevedono un ruolo di semplice assistenza e supporto tecnico alla Guardia costiera libica, di fatto svolge - tramite la nave della Marina militare di stanza a Tripoli - svolge una funzione di centro di comunicazione e coordinamento «dando un contributo decisivo - si legge nel report - alla capacità di controllo e coordinamento che ha saldamente in mano».
      «Quando i libici non sono in grado di intervenire - è l’accusa di Forensic Oceanography - Roma opta per una seconda modalità, quella del respingimento privato attraverso le mavi mercantili che - secondo un recente report semestrale di Eunavformed - ha prodotto 13 casi nell’ultimo anno con un aumento del 15-20 per cento».

      https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2019/12/18/news/migranti_l_italia_dietro_il_respingimento_dei_93_salvati_dal_mercantile_n

  • What the C.I.A.’s #Torture Program Looked Like to the Tortured - The #New_York_Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/04/us/politics/cia-torture-drawings.html

    Drawings done in captivity by the first prisoner known to undergo “enhanced interrogation” portray his account of what happened to him in vivid and disturbing ways.

    Ceci dit, il ne faut pas trop en demander au NYT,

    JOHN KIRIAKOU: Those Torture Drawings in the NYT – Consortiumnews
    https://consortiumnews.com/2019/12/12/john-kiriakou-those-torture-drawings-in-the-nyt

    With that said, the Times article, although revelatory in terms of Abu Zubaydah’s personal story, was woefully inadequate. It never mentioned, for example, how the Obama administration did literally nothing to make any of this right. Remember former President Barack Obama’s decision to hold no one accountable for the torture program and instead “look forward, not backward?” That didn’t serve #justice. It just protected the torturers and the criminals who supported them. Remember the promise to close #Guantanamo? It never happened. 

    And what about that Senate torture report? We talk about “the Senate torture report” like we actually know what was in it. We don’t. The 5,500-page report was never released . Instead, after a battle royal with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), Obama finally allowed only a heavily redacted version, less than 700 pages, of the report’s executive summary to see the light of day. And all of that happened after then-CIA Director and Obama loyalist John Brennan ordered #CIA officers to secretly hack into the SSCI’s computer system to see what committee investigators were up to. Of course, no charges for that were ever filed.

    #etats-unis

  • Tortura e razzismo

    Torture and racism share a fundamental tendency: both impose on humans the status of sub-humans; both are linked to each other by an embrace that, at the same time, reveals and conceals. The article analyzes this link by focusing on dehumanizing torture, as in this typology it is simpler to be observed. After a thorough review of the theoretical and historical framework, the paper focuses on the ‘Regina Pacis case’ which provides tangible insights for general reflection.

    https://edizionicafoscari.unive.it/it/edizioni4/libri/978-88-6969-359-5/tortura-e-razzismo
    #torture #racisme #livre #déshumanisation #Regina_Pacis

  • Tortura e migrazioni

    As a social relationship of submission whose scope goes beyond those directly affected, torture is still an ongoing practice, widespread everywhere, and this is also due to several processes typical of the neo-liberal era – starting from the policies aimed at the security armoring of society. The essay, which examines the causes and dimensions of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment of migrants, shows how this global phenomenon today has a close link with the worsening conditions of migration, the global war on immigrants, the tightening of migration policies, the stigmatization of immigrants, the rise of institutional racism, the illegalization of migrations, all elements that favor the production of contexts, environments and situations permeable to torture.

    https://edizionicafoscari.unive.it/it/edizioni4/libri/978-88-6969-359-5/tortura-e-migrazioni
    #torture #migrations #livre #néo-libéralisme #sécurité #traitements_inhumains_et_dégradants #guerre_aux_migrants #stigmatisation #racisme #racisme_institutionnel #racisme_d'Etat #illégalisation_des_migrants #Fabio_Perocco

    • Making misery pay : Libya militias take EU funds for migrants

      When the European Union started funneling millions of euros into Libya to slow the tide of migrants crossing the Mediterranean, the money came with EU promises to improve detention centers notorious for abuse and fight human trafficking.

      That hasn’t happened. Instead, the misery of migrants in Libya has spawned a thriving and highly lucrative web of businesses funded in part by the EU and enabled by the United Nations, an Associated Press investigation has found.

      The EU has sent more than 327.9 million euros to Libya (https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/region/north-africa/libya), with an additional 41 million approved in early December (https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/all-news-and-stories/new-actions-almost-eu150-million-tackle-human-smuggling-protect-vulnerable), largely channeled through U.N. agencies. The AP found that in a country without a functioning government, huge sums of European money have been diverted to intertwined networks of militiamen, traffickers and coast guard members who exploit migrants. In some cases, U.N. officials knew militia networks were getting the money, according to internal emails.

      The militias torture, extort and otherwise abuse migrants for ransoms in detention centers under the nose of the U.N., often in compounds that receive millions in European money, the AP investigation showed. Many migrants also simply disappear from detention centers, sold to traffickers or to other centers.

      The same militias conspire with some members of Libyan coast guard units. The coast guard gets training and equipment from Europe to keep migrants away from its shores. But coast guard members return some migrants to the detention centers under deals with militias, the AP found, and receive bribes to let others pass en route to Europe.

      The militias involved in abuse and trafficking also skim off European funds given through the U.N. to feed and otherwise help migrants, who go hungry. For example, millions of euros in U.N. food contracts were under negotiation with a company controlled by a militia leader, even as other U.N. teams raised alarms about starvation in his detention center, according to emails obtained by the AP and interviews with at least a half-dozen Libyan officials.

      In many cases, the money goes to neighboring Tunisia to be laundered, and then flows back to the militias in Libya.

      The story of Prudence Aimée and her family shows how migrants are exploited at every stage of their journey through Libya.

      Aimée left Cameroon in 2015, and when her family heard nothing from her for a year, they thought she was dead. But she was in detention and incommunicado. In nine months at the Abu Salim detention center, she told the AP, she saw “European Union milk” and diapers delivered by U.N.staff pilfered before they could reach migrant children, including her toddler son. Aimée herself would spend two days at a time without food or drink, she said.

      In 2017, an Arab man came looking for her with a photo of her on his phone.

      “They called my family and told them they had found me,” she said. “That’s when my family sent money.” Weeping, Aimée said her family paid a ransom equivalent of $670 to get her out of the center. She could not say who got the money.

      She was moved to an informal warehouse and eventually sold to yet another detention center, where yet another ransom — $750 this time — had to be raised from her family. Her captors finally released the young mother, who got on a boat that made it past the coast guard patrol, after her husband paid $850 for the passage. A European humanitarian ship rescued Aimée, but her husband remains in Libya.

      Aimée was one of more than 50 migrants interviewed by the AP at sea, in Europe, Tunisia and Rwanda, and in furtive messages from inside detention centers in Libya. Journalists also spoke with Libyan government officials, aid workers and businessmen in Tripoli, obtained internal U.N. emails and analyzed budget documents and contracts.

      The issue of migration has convulsed Europe since the influx of more than a million people in 2015 and 2016, fleeing violence and poverty in the Mideast, Afghanistan and Africa. In 2015, the European Union set up a fund intended to curb migration from Africa, from which money is sent to Libya. The EU gives the money mainly through the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the High Commissioner for Refugees. (UNHCR).

      But Libya is plagued by corruption and caught in a civil war. The west, including the capital Tripoli, is ruled by a U.N.-brokered government, while the east is ruled by another government supported by army commander Khalifa Hifter. The chaos is ideal for profiteers making money off migrants.

      The EU’s own documents show it was aware of the dangers of effectively outsourcing its migration crisis to Libya. Budget documents from as early as 2017 for a 90 million euro (https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/sites/euetfa/files/t05-eutf-noa-ly-03.pdf) outlay warned of a medium-to-high risk that Europe’s support would lead to more human rights violations against migrants, and that the Libyan government would deny access to detention centers. A recent EU assessment (https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/sites/euetfa/files/risk_register_eutf_0.pdf) found the world was likely to get the “wrong perception” that European money could be seen as supporting abuse.

      Despite the roles they play in the detention system in Libya, both the EU and the U.N. say they want the centers closed. In a statement to the AP, the EU said that under international law, it is not responsible for what goes on inside the centers.

      “Libyan authorities have to provide the detained refugees and migrants with adequate and quality food while ensuring that conditions in detention centers uphold international agreed standards,” the statement said.

      The EU also says more than half of the money in its fund for Africa is used to help and protect migrants, and that it relies on the U.N. to spend the money wisely.

      The U.N. said the situation in Libya is highly complex, and it has to work with whoever runs the detention centers to preserve access to vulnerable migrants.

      “UNHCR does not choose its counterparts,” said Charlie Yaxley, a spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency. “Some presumably also have allegiances with local militias.”

      After two weeks of being questioned by the AP, UNHCR said it would change its policy on awarding of food and aid contracts for migrants through intermediaries.

      “Due in part to the escalating conflict in Tripoli and the possible risk to the integrity of UNHCR’s programme, UNHCR decided to contract directly for these services from 1 January 2020,” Yaxley said.

      Julien Raickman, who until recently was the Libya mission chief for the aid group Médecins Sans Frontières, also known as Doctors Without Borders, believes the problem starts with Europe’s unwillingness to deal with the politics of migration.

      “If you were to treat dogs in Europe the way these people are treated, it would be considered a societal problem,” he said.

      EXTORTION INSIDE THE DETENTION CENTERS

      About 5,000 migrants in Libya are crowded into between 16 and 23 detention centers at any given time, depending on who is counting and when. Most are concentrated in the west, where the militias are more powerful than the weak U.N.-backed government.

      Aid intended for migrants helps support the al-Nasr Martyrs detention center, named for the militia that controls it, in the western coastal town of Zawiya. The U.N. migration agency, the IOM, keeps a temporary office there for medical checks of migrants, and its staff and that of the UNHCR visit the compound regularly.

      Yet migrants at the center are tortured for ransoms to be freed and trafficked for more money, only to be intercepted at sea by the coast guard and brought back to the center, according to more than a dozen migrants, Libyan aid workers, Libyan officials and European human rights groups. A UNHCR report in late 2018 noted the allegations as well, and the head of the militia, Mohammed Kachlaf, is under U.N. sanctions (https://www.un.org/securitycouncil/sanctions/1970/materials/summaries/individual/mohammed-kachlaf) for human trafficking. Kachlaf, other militia leaders named by the AP and the Libyan coast guard all did not respond to requests for comment.

      Many migrants recalled being cut, shot and whipped with electrified hoses and wooden boards. They also heard the screams of others emerging from the cell blocks off-limits to U.N. aid workers.

      Families back home are made to listen during the torture to get them to pay, or are sent videos afterward.

      Eric Boakye, a Ghanaian, was locked in the al-Nasr Martyrs center twice, both times after he was intercepted at sea, most recently around three years ago. The first time, his jailers simply took the money on him and set him free. He tried again to cross and was again picked up by the coast guard and returned to his jailers.

      “They cut me with a knife on my back and beat me with sticks,” he said, lifting his shirt to show the scars lining his back. “Each and every day they beat us to call our family and send money.” The new price for freedom: Around $2,000.

      That was more than his family could scrape together. Boakye finally managed to escape. He worked small jobs for some time to save money, then tried to cross again. On his fourth try, he was picked up by the Ocean Viking humanitarian ship to be taken to Italy. In all, Boakye had paid $4,300 to get out of Libya.

      Fathi al-Far, the head of the al-Nasr International Relief and Development agency, which operates at the center and has ties to the militia, denied that migrants are mistreated. He blamed “misinformation” on migrants who blew things out of proportion in an attempt to get asylum.

      “I am not saying it’s paradise — we have people who have never worked before with the migrants, they are not trained,” he said. But he called the al-Nasr Martyrs detention center “the most beautiful in the country.”

      At least five former detainees showed an AP journalist scars from their injuries at the center, which they said were inflicted by guards or ransom seekers making demands to their families. One man had bullet wounds to both feet, and another had cuts on his back from a sharp blade. All said they had to pay to get out.

      Five to seven people are freed every day after they pay anywhere from $1,800 to $8,500 each, the former migrants said. At al-Nasr, they said, the militia gets around $14,000 every day from ransoms; at Tarik al-Sikka, a detention center in Tripoli, it was closer to $17,000 a day, they said. They based their estimates on what they and others detained with them had paid, by scraping together money from family and friends.

      The militias also make money from selling groups of migrants, who then often simply disappear from a center. An analysis commissioned by the EU and released earlier this month by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (https://globalinitiative.net/migrant-detention-libya) noted that the detention centers profit by selling migrants among themselves and to traffickers, as well as into prostitution and forced labor.

      Hundreds of migrants this year who were intercepted at sea and taken to detention centers had vanished by the time international aid groups visited, according to Médecins Sans Frontières. There’s no way to tell where they went, but MSF suspects they were sold to another detention center or to traffickers.

      A former guard at the Khoms center acknowledged to the AP that migrants often were seized in large numbers by men armed with anti-aircraft guns and RPGs. He said he couldn’t keep his colleagues from abusing the migrants or traffickers from taking them out of the center.

      “I don’t want to remember what happened,” he said. The IOM was present at Khoms, he noted, but the center closed last year.

      A man who remains detained at the al-Nasr Martyrs center said Libyans frequently arrive in the middle of the night to take people. Twice this fall, he said, they tried to load a group of mostly women into a small convoy of vehicles but failed because the center’s detainees revolted.

      Fighting engulfed Zawiya last week, but migrants remained locked inside the al-Nasr Martyrs center, which is also being used for weapons storage.

      TRAFFICKING AND INTERCEPTION AT SEA

      Even when migrants pay to be released from the detention centers, they are rarely free. Instead, the militias sell them to traffickers, who promise to take them across the Mediterranean to Europe for a further fee. These traffickers work hand in hand with some coast guard members, the AP found.

      The Libyan coast guard is supported by both the U.N. and the EU. The IOM highlights (https://libya.iom.int/rescue-sea-support) its cooperation with the coast guard on its Libya home page. Europe has spent more than 90 million euros since 2017 for training and faster boats for the Libyan coast guard to stop migrants from ending up in Europe.

      This fall, Italy renewed a memorandum of understanding with Libya to support the coast guard with training and vessels, and it delivered 10 new speedboats to Libya in November.

      In internal documents obtained in September by the European watchdog group Statewatch, the European Council described the coast guard as “operating effectively, thus confirming the process achieved over the past three years” (http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/sep/eu-council-libya-11538-19.pdf). The Libyan coast guard says it intercepted nearly 9,000 people in 2019 en route to Europe and returned them to Libya this year, after quietly extending its coastal rescue zone 100 miles offshore with European encouragement.

      What’s unclear is how often militias paid the coast guard to intercept these people and bring them back to the detention centers — the business more than a dozen migrants described at the al-Nasr Martyrs facility in Zawiya.

      The coast guard unit at Zawiya is commanded by Abdel-Rahman Milad, who has sanctions against him for human trafficking by the U.N.’s Security Council. Yet when his men intercept boats carrying migrants, they contact U.N. staff at disembarkation points for cursory medical checks.

      Despite the sanctions and an arrest warrant against him, Milad remains free because he has the support of the al-Nasr militia. In 2017, before the sanctions, Milad was even flown to Rome, along with a militia leader, Mohammed al-Khoja, as part of a Libyan delegation for a U.N.-sponsored migration meeting. In response to the sanctions, Milad denied any links to human smuggling and said traffickers wear uniforms similar to those of his men.

      Migrants named at least two other operations along the coast, at Zuwara and Tripoli, that they said operated along the same lines as Milad’s. Neither center responded to requests for comment.

      The U.N.’s International Organization for Migration acknowledged to the AP that it has to work with partners who might have contacts with local militias.

      “Without those contacts it would be impossible to operate in those areas and for IOM to provide support services to migrants and the local population,” said IOM spokeswoman Safa Msehli. “Failure to provide that support would have compounded the misery of hundreds of men, women and children.”

      The story of Abdullah, a Sudanese man who made two attempts to flee Libya, shows just how lucrative the cycle of trafficking and interception really is.

      All told, the group of 47 in his first crossing from Tripoli over a year ago had paid a uniformed Libyan and his cronies $127,000 in a mix of dollars, euros and Libyan dinars for the chance to leave their detention center and cross in two boats. They were intercepted in a coast guard boat by the same uniformed Libyan, shaken down for their cell phones and more money, and tossed back into detention.

      “We talked to him and asked him, why did you let us out and then arrest us?” said Abdullah, who asked that only his first name be used because he was afraid of retaliation. “He beat two of us who brought it up.”

      Abdullah later ended up in the al-Nasr Martyrs detention center, where he learned the new price list for release and an attempted crossing based on nationality: Ethiopians, $5,000; Somalis $6,800; Moroccans and Egyptians, $8,100; and finally Bangladeshis, a minimum $18,500. Across the board, women pay more.

      Abdullah scraped together another ransom payment and another crossing fee. Last July, he and 18 others paid $48,000 in total for a boat with a malfunctioning engine that sputtered to a stop within hours.

      After a few days stuck at sea off the Libyan coast under a sweltering sun, they threw a dead man overboard and waited for their own lives to end. Instead, they were rescued on their ninth day at sea by Tunisian fishermen, who took them back to Tunisia.

      “There are only three ways out of the prison: You escape, you pay ransom, or you die,” Abdullah said, referring to the detention center.

      In all, Abdullah spent a total of $3,300 to leave Libya’s detention centers and take to the sea. He ended up barely 100 miles away.

      Sometimes members of the coast guard make money by doing exactly what the EU wants them to prevent: Letting migrants cross, according to Tarik Lamloum, the head of the Libyan human rights organization Beladi. Traffickers pay the coast guard a bribe of around $10,000 per boat that is allowed to pass, with around five to six boats launching at a time when conditions are favorable, he said.

      The head of Libya’s Department for Combating Irregular Migration or DCIM, the agency responsible for the detention centers under the Ministry of Interior, acknowledged corruption and collusion among the militias and the coast guard and traffickers, and even within the government itself.

      “They are in bed with them, as well as people from my own agency,” said Al Mabrouk Abdel-Hafez.

      SKIMMING PROFITS

      Beyond the direct abuse of migrants, the militia network also profits by siphoning off money from EU funds sent for their food and security — even those earmarked for a U.N.-run migrant center, according to more than a dozen officials and aid workers in Libya and Tunisia, as well as internal U.N. emails and meeting minutes seen by The Associated Press.

      An audit in May of the UNHCR (https://oios.un.org/audit-reports, the U.N. refugee agency responsible for the center, found a lack of oversight and accountability at nearly all levels of spending in the Libya mission. The audit identified inexplicable payments in American dollars to Libyan firms and deliveries of goods that were never verified.

      In December 2018, during the period reviewed in the audit, the U.N. launched its migrant center in Tripoli (https://www.unhcr.org/news/press/2018/12/5c09033a4/first-group-refugees-evacuated-new-departure-facility-libya.html), known as the #Gathering_and_Departure_Facility or #GDF, as an “ alternative to detention” (https://apnews.com/7e72689f44e45dd17aa0a3ee53ed3c03). For the recipients of the services contracts, sent through the Libyan government agency LibAid, it was a windfall.

      Millions of euros in contracts for food (https://apnews.com/e4c68dae65a84c519253f69c817a58ec) and migrant aid went to at least one company linked to al-Khoja, the militia leader flown to Rome for the U.N. migration meeting, according to internal U.N. emails seen by the AP, two senior Libyan officials and an international aid worker. Al-Khoja is also the deputy head of the DCIM, the government agency responsible for the detention centers.

      One of the Libyan officials saw the multimillion-euro catering contract with a company named Ard al-Watan, or The Land of the Nation, which al-Khoja controls.

      “We feel like this is al-Khoja’s fiefdom. He controls everything. He shuts the doors and he opens the doors,” said the official, a former employee at the U.N. center who like other Libyan officials spoke anonymously out of fear for his safety. He said al-Khoja used sections of the U.N. center to train his militia fighters and built a luxury apartment inside.

      Even as the contracts for the U.N. center were negotiated, Libyan officials said, three Libyan government agencies were investigating al-Khoja in connection with the disappearance of $570 million from government spending allocated to feed migrants in detention centers in the west.

      At the time, al-Khoja already ran another center for migrants, Tarik al-Sikka, notorious for abuses including beating, hard labor and a massive ransom scheme. Tekila, an Eritrean refugee, said that for two years at Tarik al-Sikka, he and other migrants lived on macaroni, even after he was among 25 people who came down with tuberculosis, a disease exacerbated by malnutrition. Tekila asked that only his first name be used for his safety.

      “When there is little food, there is no choice but to go to sleep,” he said.

      Despite internal U.N. emails warning of severe malnutrition inside Tarik al-Sikka, U.N. officials in February and March 2018 repeatedly visited the detention center to negotiate the future opening of the GDF. AP saw emails confirming that by July 2018, the UNHCR’s chief of mission was notified that companies controlled by al-Khoja’s militia would receive subcontracts for services.

      Yaxley, the spokesman for UNHCR, emphasized that the officials the agency works with are “all under the authority of the Ministry of Interior.” He said UNHCR monitors expenses to make sure its standard rules are followed, and may withhold payments otherwise.

      A senior official at LibAid, the Libyan government agency that managed the center with the U.N., said the contracts are worth at least $7 million for catering, cleaning and security, and 30 out of the 65 LibAid staff were essentially ghost employees who showed up on the payroll, sight unseen.

      The U.N. center was “a treasure trove,” the senior Libaid official lamented. “There was no way you could operate while being surrounded by Tripoli militias. It was a big gamble.”

      An internal U.N. communication from early 2019 shows it was aware of the problem. The note found a high risk that food for the U.N. center was being diverted to militias, given the amount budgeted compared to the amount migrants were eating.

      In general, around 50 dinars a day, or $35, is budgeted per detainee for food and other essentials for all centers, according to two Libyan officials, two owners of food catering companies and an international aid worker. Of that, only around 2 dinars is actually spent on meals, according to their rough calculations and migrants’ descriptions.

      Despite the investigations into al-Khoja, Tarik al-Sikka and another detention center shared a 996,000-euro grant from the EU and Italy in February.

      At the Zawiya center, emergency goods delivered by U.N. agencies ended up redistributed “half for the prisoners, half for the workers,” said Orobosa Bright, a Nigerian who endured three stints there for a total of 11 months. Many of the goods end up on Libya’s black market as well, Libyan officials and international aid workers say.

      IOM’s spokeswoman said “aid diversion is a reality” in Libya and beyond, and that the agency does its best. Msehli said if it happens regularly, IOM will be forced to re-evaluate its supports to detention centers “despite our awareness that any reduction in this lifesaving assistance will add to the misery of migrants.”

      Despite the corruption, the detention system in Libya is still expanding in places, with money from Europe. At a detention center in Sabaa where migrants are already going hungry, they were forced to build yet another wing funded by the Italian government, said Lamloum, the Libyan aid worker. The Italian government did not respond to a request for comment.

      Lamloum sent a photo of the new prison. It has no windows.

      TUNISIA LAUNDERING

      The money earned off the suffering of migrants is whitewashed in money laundering operations in Tunisia, Libya’s neighbor.

      In the town of Ben Gardane, dozens of money-changing stalls transform Libyan dinars, dollars and euros into Tunisian currency before the money continues on its way to the capital, Tunis. Even Libyans without residency can open a bank account.

      Tunisia also offers another opportunity for militia networks to make money off European funds earmarked for migrants. Because of Libya’s dysfunctional banking system, where cash is scarce and militias control accounts, international organizations give contracts, usually in dollars, to Libyan organizations with bank accounts in Tunisia. The vendors compound the money on Libya’s black-market exchange, which ranges between 4 and 9 times greater than the official rate.

      Libya’s government handed over more than 100 files to Tunisia earlier this year listing companies under investigation for fraud and money laundering.

      The companies largely involve militia warlords and politicians, according to Nadia Saadi, a manager at the Tunisian anti-corruption authority. The laundering involves cash payments for real estate, falsified customs documents and faked bills for fictitious companies.

      “All in all, Libya is run by militias,” said a senior Libyan judicial official, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of risking his life. “Whatever governments say, and whatever uniform they wear, or stickers they put....this is the bottom line.”

      Husni Bey, a prominent businessman in Libya, said the idea of Europe sending aid money to Libya, a once-wealthy country suffering from corruption, was ill-conceived from the beginning.

      “Europe wants to buy those who can stop smuggling with all of these programs,” Bey said. “They would be much better off blacklisting the names of those involved in human trafficking, fuel and drug smuggling and charging them with crimes, instead of giving them money.”

      https://apnews.com/9d9e8d668ae4b73a336a636a86bdf27f

  • Madame M retrouvée morte dans sa cellule
    Ronald Martel, La Tribune, le 6 novembre 2019
    https://www.latribune.ca/actualites/madame-m-retrouvee-morte-dans-sa-cellule-48e5bade26f593798ccc9e63bb1156c6

    Rappelons qu’à l’automne 2009, Madame M a reçu un appel de ses enfants en pleurs qui, cachés dans un hangar désaffecté, l’exhortaient à venir les chercher, car leur père les violentait moralement et physiquement et ils désiraient venir vivre avec elle. La femme avait alors décidé d’emmener ses enfants dans sa fuite jusqu’au Canada, d’où elle est originaire.

    Mais la justice américaine a le bras long. Elle avait accordé le droit de garde des enfants à leur père. C’est la base sur laquelle repose toute l’histoire, car malgré la violence du père qui a été prouvée même par une vidéo, le principe est demeuré intact.

    Plusieurs procédures judiciaires en Cour supérieure, en Cour d’appel, même jusqu’en Cour suprême, ont été menées par cette mère dans sa quête de justice.

    #Migrants #Extradition #Suicide #Torture #Assassinat #Prison #Injustice #Criminalisation_des_migrants #Sexisme #violence_sexiste #solidarité_masculine #USA #Canada

  • 60 médecins alertent sur l’état de santé de Julian #Assange, détenu à Londres - Le Soir
    https://www.lesoir.be/262571/article/2019-11-25/60-medecins-alertent-sur-letat-de-sante-de-julian-assange-detenu-londres

    « Nous sommes d’avis que M. Assange a besoin d’urgence d’une évaluation médicale de son état de santé physique et psychologique », écrivent les médecins qui exercent dans différents pays : Etats-Unis, Australie, #Royaume-Uni ou encore Suède. Ils suggèrent que des soins lui soient prodigués dans un hôpital doté de personnel qualifié.

    Faute de quoi, « nous redoutons vraiment, sur la base des éléments actuellement disponibles, que M. Assange puisse mourir en prison », avertissent-ils.

    Début novembre, le Rapporteur de l’ONU sur la #torture avait précisé que son inquiétude actuelle était liée à de « nouvelles informations médicales transmises par plusieurs sources fiables affirmant que la santé de M. Assange est entrée dans un cercle vicieux d’anxiété, de stress et d’impuissance, typique des personnes exposées à un isolement prolongé et à un arbitraire constant ».

    Détenu à la prison de haute sécurité de Belmarsh, dans le sud de Londres, Julian Assange est sous la menace d’une extradition vers les #États-Unis où il encourt une peine allant jusqu’à 175 ans d’emprisonnement pour espionnage.

  • Palestinian shot in back says Israelis abused him for hours
    By MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH | 11 novembre 2019
    https://apnews.com/f1a012a0ada24095b86707b9166dff65

    Palestinian Karam Qawasmi, who was shot in the back by Israeli forces in an incident caught on video last year, gestures as he gives an interview in the West Bank city of Hebron, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. In his first interview since the video emerged last week, Karam Qawasmi said he was run over by a military jeep, then beaten for several hours before troops released him, only to shoot him in the back with a painful sponge-tipped bullet as he walked away. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

    HEBRON, West Bank (AP) — A young Palestinian man who was shot in the back by Israeli forces in an incident caught on video last year says the footage shows just a small part of what was a horrifying day for him.

    Speaking to The Associated Press after the video emerged last week, Karam Qawasmi said he was run over by a military jeep, then beaten for several hours before troops released him, only to shoot him in the back with a painful sponge-tipped bullet as he walked away. He said Israeli investigators have never contacted him.

    “I died several times that day,” he said in an interview at his home in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. “They tortured me in a way that I felt they are killing me. And when they shot me, I felt it’s my end. I closed my eyes and prayed.”

    Palestinians often charge that Israeli security forces use excessive or unnecessary force against them. But incriminating video evidence is rare, making such claims hard to prove. (...)

    ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““
    Karam Qawasmi “23” years reveals the details of the crime committed by Israeli soldiers
    7 nov. 2019
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxQOxb1M6LY

    Karam Qawasmi “23” years reveals the details of the crime committed by Israeli soldiers a year and a half ago in occupied #Jerusalem

  • Des femmes ouïghoures « stérilisées » dans des camps de « rééducation » en Chine | Le Club de Mediapart
    https://blogs.mediapart.fr/silk-road/blog/150919/des-femmes-ouighoures-sterilisees-dans-des-camps-de-reeducation-en-c

    La #Chine #stérilise de force les #femmes détenues dans son vaste réseau de camps de « #rééducation » abritant des #prisonniers_politiques et religieux, ont affirmé des survivantes.

    Une #femme, détenue pendant plus d’un an, a déclaré à la télévision française qu’une substance lui avait été injectée à plusieurs reprises par des médecins dans une #prison de l’extrême ouest du #Xinjiang.

    « Nous devions passer la main par une petite ouverture dans la porte », a déclaré à France 24 Gulbahar Jalilova, une survivante âgée de 54 ans.

    "Nous avons vite compris qu’après les injections, les femmes n’avaient plus leurs règles."

    Elle et 50 autres femmes ont été entassées dans une cellule minuscule, « comme si nous étions juste un morceau de viande », a-t-elle déclaré.

    Lors d’une conférence récente à Amnesty International, une autre femme, Mehrigul Tursun, 30 ans, a raconté une histoire similaire, à savoir qu’elle avait été stérilisée à son insu.

    #stérilisation_forcée #ouïghoures #torture #discrimination

  • 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

  • Judge adjourns Fakhoury questioning | News , Lebanon News | THE DAILY STAR
    http://www.dailystar.com.lb//News/Lebanon-News/2019/Sep-17/491752-military-judge-begins-questioning-fakhoury.ashx

    Local media reported that a delegation from the U.S. Embassy that included an American lawyer was prevented from going into court. Fakhoury holds the American passport.

    Despite having been sentenced to 15 years in jail and having several arrest warrants against him, Fakhoury was allowed to leave Beirut’s airport freely after arriving earlier this month, drawing criticism from many.

    A former military leader in the South Lebanon Army, an Israeli proxy militia, Fakhoury left Lebanon for Israel in 2000, and later traveled to the U.S.

    Between 1985 and 2000, more than 5,000 people passed through the Khiam detention center, run by Fakhoury, where they suffered #torture and other forms of mistreatment.

    At least 10 people died. The 144 people who remained in detention when Israeli forces withdrew from south Lebanon in May 2000 were freed by residents of Khiam who stormed the prison.

    A judicial source had told The Daily Star that the sentence and warrants against Fakhoury had been rendered invalid “due to the passage of more than 20 years.”

    « Un pays ouvert à tous les vents » avait dit un jour René Nabaa en parlant du #Liban.
    #collabo #criminel

  • Why is the 9/11 Mastermind Still Awaiting Trial? | The American Conservative
    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-the-9-11-mastermind-is-still-awaiting-trial

    The reason why KSM and his four cohorts have not gone to trial yet is because there is a dispute over whether their confessions are admissible because they were gleaned through torture sessions in #CIA prisons. By law the any evidence obtained under these conditions is inadmissible. Defense lawyers in this case, as well in the other major case at Camp Justice—the 2000 USS Cole bombing—have been able to hold up the progress of both cases on this basis. If for some reason these men are convicted, and they get the death penalty, their lawyers were use torture to prolong that process too.

    #torture

  • Scars and trauma run deep for Eritrean refugees

    It’s been one year since I first started getting messages from refugees locked up in Libyan detention centres. Using hidden phones, they risked brutal retaliation to send information about the horrors they were experiencing, and how the European Union is directly implicated. They hoped some good would come from this being exposed to the world, but little has changed since.

    Libya, a war-torn country in North Africa, was once a key transit state for people trying to reach Europe. Since 2017, tens of thousands of refugees and migrants have been returned there from the Mediterranean Sea and locked up indefinitely. Most were intercepted by the EU-supported Libyan coast guard, under a deal aimed at stopping migration to Europe.

    In detention, they face disease, sickness, forced labour and sexual violence. Tuberculosis is common. Medical care, food and water are lacking. Hundreds of children and minors are among the incarcerated, left without an education. Couples are separated. In one detention centre, at least 22 people died in eight months.

    A small number manage to escape.

    One of the first people to contact me from a Libyan detention centre was Yosi. He was being held with hundreds of others in Ain Zara, south Tripoli, when conflict broke out in August 2018. Buildings smoked around them, while fighters patrolled with anti-aircraft guns outside.

    In April this year, war in Tripoli erupted again. A week into it, one of Yosi’s close friends, a 17 year old called Meron, died after throwing himself into a septic tank behind their detention centre. Meron was traumatised and depressed from all that he had experienced. “Today I hated living in this shameful world,” Yosi told me. “I lost my friend, brother, my everything . . . Meron was a good boy.”
    Evacuated to Italy

    In May, Yosi was evacuated to Italy by the United Nations Refugee Agency – one of a lucky few. He received little help from Italian authorities, and decided to travel on to Luxembourg, after seeing fellow Eritreans sleeping on the streets and worrying that would be his future.

    Last month, I finally met him in person.

    On my first day in Luxembourg, we talked for more than 10 hours. We walked around the city, through the caving park and by the ancient castles. We went back to the reception centre where he shared close quarters with dozens of other asylum seekers, all waiting for decisions on their cases.

    The whole time we were discussing Libya and everything he has gone through. Yosi was tortured by smugglers and abused by Libyan guards. He has many scars: physical and mental.

    Yosi doesn’t like being in cars anymore or any small spaces, because it reminds him of being locked up. He jumps at the sound of a slamming door or a dog barking.

    A few days before we met there were fireworks, part of some festival. Yosi ran outside, believing the sound was heavy weapons. He wanted to know how far off the missile was.

    Eritreans who flee towards Europe, like Yosi, are often underage. They escape before they are forced to begin a programme of indefinite, mandatory military service, which has been likened to slavery by the United Nations.
    Ageing test

    Though the UN Refugee Agency interviewed Yosi in Libya and gave him papers saying he was 16 years old, Luxembourg’s authorities accuses him of lying. They ordered a medical test designed to measure physical growth, which has been criticised as inaccurate by activists and aid workers. Afterwards, officials told Yosi he is 25.

    “What’s at stake is big here: minors benefit from a much bigger protection,” Ambre Schulz told me last week. Schulz works at Passerell, an organisation that gives legal help to refugees and migrants in Luxembourg, including Yosi.

    Shortly after my visit, Yosi was moved back to another detention centre, a crushing blow in the country he hoped to make his home. He may be deported back to Italy, where he was first fingerprinted. He’s hoping his case can be reconsidered.

    Yosi’s age isn’t the only part of his story that has been questioned. He’s realising most Europeans have no idea of the gross human rights abuses being used to solidify EU borders. After he was taken to hospital in Luxembourg with an ankle injury, from playing football, he told one of the medical staff he has a problem remembering instructions because of the trauma in his past.

    He spoke of detention centres in Libya, of #torture and #violence. He said she didn’t believe him. “She was confused,” he said. “She said like [/laughing/], is it a movie?”

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/scars-and-trauma-run-deep-for-eritrean-refugees-1.4004285
    #réfugiés_érythréens #trauma #santé_mentale #traumatisme #réfugiés #asile #migrations

  • #Et_pourtant_elles_dansent

    Marie-Noëlle, Denise, Asyath, Odile, Lizana, Emi­na ou encore Augustine et d’autres, toutes femmes réfugiées en France, se retrouvent à l’association Femmes en Luth à Valence et se sont confiées sur les raisons qui les ont contraintes à quitter leurs pays, souvent pour leur survie, laissant parfois leurs proches et leurs biens derrière elles. Portant le poids d’une culpabilité qui ne les quittera pas, elles évoquent les violences subies, les tortures au tra­vers de leurs témoignages, affichent leur courage et transmettent malgré tout un message de paix. Elles chantent, dansent, peignent et sourient ! Présent dans l’association, Vincent Djinda les a accompa­gnées durant une année.


    https://www.desrondsdanslo.com/EtPourtantEllesDansent.html
    #BD #livre #asile #migrations #réfugiés #procédure_d'asile #France #déqualification #femmes #déracinement #Tchétchénie #viols #viol_comme_arme_de_guerre #torture #violences_domestiques #violences_conjugales #prostitution #Valence #Femmes_en_Luth #guerre #témoignage #audition #récit #preuves #torture

  • Ethiopians Abused on Gulf Migration Route

    Ethiopians undertaking the perilous journey by boat across the Red Sea or Gulf of Aden face exploitation and torture in Yemen by a network of trafficking groups, Human Rights Watch said today. They also encounter abusive prison conditions in Saudi Arabia before being summarily forcibly deported back to Addis Ababa. Authorities in Ethiopia, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia have taken few if any measures to curb the violence migrants face, to put in place asylum procedures, or to check abuses perpetrated by their own security forces.


    A combination of factors, including unemployment and other economic difficulties, drought, and human rights abuses have driven hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians to migrate over the past decade, traveling by boat over the Red Sea and then by land through Yemen to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia and neighboring Gulf states are favored destinations because of the availability of employment. Most travel irregularly and do not have legal status once they reach Saudi Arabia.

    “Many Ethiopians who hoped for a better life in Saudi Arabia face unspeakable dangers along the journey, including death at sea, torture, and all manners of abuses,” said Felix Horne, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Ethiopian government, with the support of its international partners, should support people who arrive back in Ethiopia with nothing but the clothes on their back and nowhere to turn for help.”

    Human Rights Watch interviewed 12 Ethiopians in Addis Ababa who had been deported from Saudi Arabia between December 2018 and May 2019. Human Rights Watch also interviewed humanitarian workers and diplomats working on Ethiopia migration-related issues.

    The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates as many as 500,000 Ethiopians were in Saudi Arabia when the Saudi government began a deportation campaign in November 2017. The Saudi authorities have arrested, prosecuted, or deported foreigners who violate labor or residency laws or those who crossed the border irregularly. About 260,000 Ethiopians, an average of 10,000 per month, were deported from Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia between May 2017 and March 2019, according to the IOM, and deportations have continued.

    An August 2 Twitter update by Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry said that police had arrested 3.6 million people, including 2.8 million for violations of residency rules, 557,000 for labor law violations, and 237,000 for border violations. In addition, authorities detained 61,125 people for crossing the border into Saudi Arabia illegally, 51 percent of them Ethiopians, and referred more than 895,000 people for deportation. Apart from illegal border crossing, these figures are not disaggregated by nationality.

    Eleven of the 12 people interviewed who had been deported had engaged with smuggling and trafficking networks that are regionally linked across Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland state, the self-declared autonomous state of Somaliland, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia. Traffickers outside of Ethiopia, particularly in Yemen, often used violence or threats to extort ransom money from migrants’ family members or contacts, those interviewed told Human Rights Watch. The 12th person was working in Saudi Arabia legally but was deported after trying to help his sister when she arrived illegally.

    Those interviewed described life-threatening journeys as long as 24 hours across the Gulf of Aden or the Red Sea to reach Yemen, in most cases in overcrowded boats, with no food or water, and prevented from moving around by armed smugglers.

    “There were 180 people on the boat, but 25 died,” one man said. “The boat was in trouble and the waves were hitting it. It was overloaded and about to sink so the dallalas [an adaptation of the Arabic word for “middleman” or “broker”] picked some out and threw them into the sea, around 25.”

    Interviewees said they were met and captured by traffickers upon arrival in Yemen. Five said the traffickers physically assaulted them to extort payments from family members or contacts in Ethiopia or Somalia. While camps where migrants were held capture were run by Yemenis, Ethiopians often carried out the abuse. In many cases, relatives said they sold assets such as homes or land to obtain the ransom money.

    After paying the traffickers or escaping, the migrants eventually made their way north to the Saudi-Yemen border, crossing in rural, mountainous areas. Interviewees said Saudi border guards fired at them, killing and injuring others crossing at the same time, and that they saw dead bodies along the crossing routes. Human Rights Watch has previously documented Saudi border guards shooting and killing migrants crossing the border.

    “At the border there are many bodies rotting, decomposing,” a 26-year-old man said: “It is like a graveyard.”

    Six interviewees said they were apprehended by Saudi border police, while five successfully crossed the border but were later arrested. They described abusive prison conditions in several facilities in southern Saudi Arabia, including inadequate food, toilet facilities, and medical care; lack of sanitation; overcrowding; and beatings by guards.

    Planes returning people deported from Saudi Arabia typically arrive in Addis Ababa either at the domestic terminal or the cargo terminal of Bole International Airport. Several humanitarian groups conduct an initial screening to identify the most vulnerable cases, with the rest left to their own devices. Aid workers in Ethiopia said that deportees often arrive with no belongings and no money for food, transportation, or shelter. Upon arrival, they are offered little assistance to help them deal with injuries or psychological trauma, or to support transportation to their home communities, in some cases hundreds of kilometers from Addis Ababa.

    Human Rights Watch learned that much of the migration funding from Ethiopia’s development partners is specifically earmarked to manage migration along the routes from the Horn of Africa to Europe and to assist Ethiopians being returned from Europe, with very little left to support returnees from Saudi Arabia.

    “Saudi Arabia has summarily returned hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians to Addis Ababa who have little to show for their journey except debts and trauma,” Horne said. “Saudi Arabia should protect migrants on its territory and under its control from traffickers, ensure there is no collusion between its agents and these criminals, and provide them with the opportunity to legally challenge their detention and deportation.”

    All interviews were conducted in Amharic, Tigrayan, or Afan Oromo with translation into English. The interviewees were from the four regions of SNNPR (Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region), Oromia, Amhara, and Tigray. These regions have historically produced the bulk of Ethiopians migrating abroad. To protect interviewees from possible reprisals, pseudonyms are being used in place of their real names. Human Rights Watch wrote to the Ethiopian and Saudi governments seeking comment on abuses described by Ethiopian migrants along the Gulf migration route, but at the time of writing neither had responded.

    Dangerous Boat Journey

    Most of the 11 people interviewed who entered Saudi Arabia without documents described life-threatening boat journeys across the Red Sea from Djibouti, Somaliland, or Puntland to Yemen. They described severely overcrowded boats, beatings, and inadequate food or water on journeys that ranged from 4 to 24 hours. These problems were compounded by dangerous weather conditions or encounters with Saudi/Emirati-led coalition naval vessels patrolling the Yemeni coast.

    “Berhanu” said that Somali smugglers beat people on his boat crossing from Puntland: “They have a setup they use where they place people in spots by weight to keep the boat balanced. If you moved, they beat you.” He said that his trip was lengthened when smugglers were forced to turn the boat around after spotting a light from a naval vessel along the Yemeni coast and wait several hours for it to pass.

    Since March 26, 2015, Saudi Arabia has led a coalition of countries in a military campaign against the Houthi armed group in Yemen. As part of its campaign the Saudi/Emirati-led coalition has imposed a naval blockade on Houthi-controlled Yemeni ports, purportedly to prevent Houthi rebels from importing weapons by sea, but which has also restricted the flow of food, fuel, and medicine to civilians in the country, and included attacks on civilians at sea. Human Rights Watch previously documented a helicopter attack in March 2017 by coalition forces on a boat carrying Somali migrants and refugees returning from Yemen, killing at least 32 of the 145 Somali migrants and refugees on board and one Yemeni civilian.

    Exploitation and Abuses in Yemen

    Once in war-torn Yemen, Ethiopian migrants said they faced kidnappings, beatings, and other abuses by traffickers trying to extort ransom money from them or their family members back home.

    This is not new. Human Rights Watch, in a 2014 report, documented abuses, including torture, of migrants in detention camps in Yemen run by traffickers attempting to extort payments. In 2018, Human Rights Watch documented how Yemeni guards tortured and raped Ethiopian and other Horn of Africa migrants at a detention center in Aden and worked in collaboration with smugglers to send them back to their countries of origin. Recent interviews by Human Rights Watch indicate that the war in Yemen has not significantly affected the abuses against Ethiopians migrating through Yemen to Saudi Arabia. If anything, the conflict, which escalated in 2015, has made the journey more dangerous for migrants who cross into an area of active fighting.

    Seven of the 11 irregular migrants interviewed said they faced detention and extortion by traffickers in Yemen. This occurred in many cases as soon as they reached shore, as smugglers on boats coordinated with the Yemeni traffickers. Migrants said that Yemeni smuggling and trafficking groups always included Ethiopians, often one from each of Oromo, Tigrayan, and Amhara ethnic groups, who generally were responsible for beating and torturing migrants to extort payments. Migrants were generally held in camps for days or weeks until they could provide ransom money, or escape. Ransom payments were usually made by bank transfers from relatives and contacts back in Ethiopia.

    “Abebe” described his experience:

    When we landed… [the traffickers] took us to a place off the road with a tent. Everyone there was armed with guns and they threw us around like garbage. The traffickers were one Yemeni and three Ethiopians – one Tigrayan, one Amhara, and one Oromo…. They started to beat us after we refused to pay, then we had to call our families…. My sister [in Ethiopia] has a house, and the traffickers called her, and they fired a bullet near me that she could hear. They sold the house and sent the money [40,000 Birr, US $1,396].

    “Tesfalem”, said that he was beaten by Yemenis and Ethiopians at a camp he believes was near the port city of Aden:

    They demanded money, but I said I don’t have any. They told me to make a call, but I said I don’t have relatives. They beat me and hung me on the wall by one hand while standing on a chair, then they kicked the chair away and I was swinging by my arm. They beat me on my head with a stick and it was swollen and bled.

    He escaped after three months, was detained in another camp for three months more, and finally escaped again.

    “Biniam” said the men would take turns beating the captured migrants: “The [Ethiopian] who speaks your language beats you, those doing the beating were all Ethiopians. We didn’t think of fighting back against them because we were so tired, and they would kill you if you tried.”

    Two people said that when they landed, the traffickers offered them the opportunity to pay immediately to travel by car to the Saudi border, thereby avoiding the detention camps. One of them, “Getachew,” said that he paid 1,500 Birr (US $52) for the car and escaped mistreatment.

    Others avoided capture when they landed, but then faced the difficult 500 kilometer journey on foot with few resources while trying to avoid capture.

    Dangers faced by Yemeni migrants traveling north were compounded for those who ran into areas of active fighting between Houthi forces and groups aligned with the Saudi/Emirati-led coalition. Two migrants said that their journey was delayed, one by a week, the other by two months, to avoid conflict areas.

    Migrants had no recourse to local authorities and did not report abuses or seek assistance from them. Forces aligned with the Yemeni government and the Houthis have also detained migrants in poor conditions, refused access to protection and asylum procedures, deported migrants en masse in dangerous conditions, and exposed them to abuse. In April 2018, Human Rights Watch reported that Yemeni government officials had tortured, raped, and executed migrants and asylum seekers from the Horn of Africa in a detention center in the southern port city of Aden. The detention center was later shut down.

    The International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced in May that it had initiated a program of voluntary humanitarian returns for irregular Ethiopian migrants held by Yemeni authorities at detention sites in southern Yemen. IOM said that about 5,000 migrants at three sites were held in “unsustainable conditions,” and that the flights from Aden to Ethiopia had stalled because the Saudi/Emirati-led coalition had failed to provide the flights the necessary clearances. The coalition controls Yemen’s airspace.

    Crossing the Border; Abusive Detention inside Saudi Arabia

    Migrants faced new challenges attempting to cross the Saudi-Yemen border. The people interviewed said that the crossing points used by smugglers are in rural, mountainous areas where the border separates Yemen’s Saada Governorate and Saudi Arabia’s Jizan Province. Two said that smugglers separated Ethiopians by their ethnic group and assigned different groups to cross at different border points.

    Ethiopian migrants interviewed were not all able to identify the locations where they crossed. Most indicated points near the Yemeni mountain villages Souq al-Ragu and ‘Izlat Al Thabit, which they called Ragu and Al Thabit. Saudi-aligned media have regularly characterized Souq al-Ragu as a dangerous town from which drug smugglers and irregular migrants cross into Saudi Arabia.

    Migrants recounted pressures to pay for the crossing by smuggling drugs into Saudi Arabia. “Abdi” said he stayed in Souq al-Ragu for 15 days and finally agreed to carry across a 25 kilogram sack of khat in exchange for 500 Saudi Riyals (US$133). Khat is a mild stimulant grown in the Ethiopian highlands and Yemen; it is popular among Yemenis and Saudis, but illegal in Saudi Arabia.

    “Badessa” described Souq al-Ragu as “the crime city:”

    You don’t know who is a trafficker, who is a drug person, but everybody has an angle of some sort. Even Yemenis are afraid of the place, it is run by Ethiopians. It is also a burial place; bodies are gathered of people who had been shot along the border and then they’re buried there. There is no police presence.

    Four of the eleven migrants who crossed the border on foot said Saudi border guards shot at them during their crossings, sometimes after ordering them to stop and other times without warning. Some said they encountered dead bodies along the way. Six said they were apprehended by Saudi border guards or drug police at the border, while five were arrested later.

    “Abebe” said that Saudi border guards shot at his group as they crossed from Izlat Al Thabit:

    They fired bullets, and everyone scattered. People fleeing were shot, my friend was shot in the leg…. One person was shot in the chest and killed and [the Saudi border guards] made us carry him to a place where there was a big excavator. They didn’t let us bury him; the excavator dug a hole and they buried him.

    Berhanu described the scene in the border area: “There were many dead people at the border. You could walk on the corpses. No one comes to bury them.”

    Getachew added: “It is like a graveyard. There are no dogs or hyenas there to eat the bodies, just dead bodies everywhere.”

    Two of the five interviewees who crossed the border without being detained said that Saudi and Ethiopian smugglers and traffickers took them to informal detention camps in southern Saudi towns and held them for ransom. “Yonas” said they took him and 14 others to a camp in the Fayfa area of Jizan Province: “They beat me daily until I called my family. They wanted 10,000 Birr ($349). My father sold his farmland and sent the 10,000 Birr, but then they told me this isn’t enough, we need 20,000 ($698). I had nothing left and decided to escape or die.” He escaped.

    Following their capture, the migrants described abusive conditions in Saudi governmental detention centers and prisons, including overcrowding and inadequate food, water, and medical care. Migrants also described beatings by Saudi guards.

    Nine migrants who were captured while crossing the border illegally or living in Saudi Arabia without documentation spent up to five months in detention before authorities deported them back to Ethiopia. The three others were convicted of criminal offenses that included human trafficking and drug smuggling, resulting in longer periods in detention before being deported.

    The migrants identified about 10 prisons and detention centers where they were held for various periods. The most frequently cited were a center near the town of al-Dayer in Jizan Province along the border, Jizan Central Prison in Jizan city, and the Shmeisi Detention Center east of Jeddah, where migrants are processed for deportation.

    Al-Dayer had the worst conditions, they said, citing overcrowding, inadequate sanitation, food and water, and medical care. Yonas said:

    They tied our feet with chains and they beat us while chained, sometimes you can’t get to the food because you are chained. If you get chained by the toilet it will overflow and flow under you. If you are aggressive you get chained by the toilet. If you are good [behave well], they chain you to another person and you can move around.

    Abraham had a similar description:

    The people there beat us. Ethnic groups [from Ethiopia] fought with each other. The toilet was overflowing. It was like a graveyard and not a place to live. Urine was everywhere and people were defecating. The smell was terrible.

    Other migrants described similarly bad conditions in Jizan Central Prison. “Ibrahim” said that he was a legal migrant working in Saudi Arabia, but that he travelled to Jizan to help his sister, whom Saudi authorities had detained after she crossed from Yemen illegally. Once in Jizan, authorities suspected him of human trafficking and arrested him, put him on trial, and sentenced him to two years in prison, a sentenced he partially served in Jizan Central Prison:

    Jizan prison is so very tough…. You can be sleeping with [beside] someone who has tuberculosis, and if you ask an official to move you, they don’t care. They will beat you. You can’t change clothes, you have one set and that is it, sometimes the guards will illegally bring clothes and sell to you at night.

    He also complained of overcrowding: “When you want to sleep you tell people and they all jostle to make some room, then you sleep for a bit but you wake up because everyone is jostling against each other.”

    Most of the migrants said food was inadequate. Yonas described the situation in al-Dayer: “When they gave food 10 people would gather and fight over it. If you don’t have energy you won’t eat. The fight is over rice and bread.”

    Detainees also said medical care was inadequate and that detainees with symptoms of tuberculosis (such as cough, fever, night sweats, or weight loss) were not isolated from other prisoners. Human Rights Watch interviewed three former detainees who were being treated for tuberculosis after being deported, two of whom said they were held with other detainees despite having symptoms of active tuberculosis.

    Detainees described being beaten by Saudi prison guards when they requested medical care. Abdi said:

    I was beaten once with a stick in Jizan that was like a piece of rebar covered in plastic. I was sick in prison and I used to vomit. They said, ‘why do you do that when people are eating?’ and then they beat me harshly and I told him [the guard], ‘Please kill me.’ He eventually stopped.

    Ibrahim said he was also beaten when he requested medical care for tuberculosis:

    [Prison guards] have a rule that you aren’t supposed to knock on the door [and disturb the guards]. When I got sick in the first six months and asked to go to the clinic, they just beat me with electric wires on the bottom of my feet. I kept asking so they kept beating.

    Detainees said that the other primary impetus for beatings by guards was fighting between different ethnic groups of Ethiopians in detention, largely between ethnic Oromos, Amharas, and Tigrayans. Ethnic tensions are increasingly common back in Ethiopia.

    Detainees said that conditions generally improved once they were transferred to Shmeisi Detention Center, near Jeddah, where they stayed only a few days before receiving temporary travel documents from Ethiopian consular authorities and deported to Ethiopia. The migrants charged with and convicted of crimes had no opportunity to consult legal counsel.

    None of the migrants said they were given the opportunity to legally challenge their deportations, and Saudi Arabia has not established an asylum system under which migrants could apply for protection from deportation where there was a risk of persecution if they were sent back. Saudi Arabia is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention.

    Deportation and Future Prospects

    Humanitarian workers and diplomats told Human Rights Watch that since the beginning of Saudi Arabia’s deportation campaign, large numbers of Ethiopian deportees have been transported via special flights by Saudia Airlines to Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa and unloaded in a cargo area away from the main international terminal or at the domestic terminal. When Human Rights Watch visited in May, it appeared that the Saudi flights were suspended during the month of Ramadan, during which strict sunrise-to-sunset fasting is observed by Muslims. All interviewees who were deported in May said they had returned on regular Ethiopian Airlines commercial flights and disembarked at the main terminal with other passengers.

    All of those deported said that they returned to Ethiopia with nothing but the clothes they were wearing, and that Saudi authorities had confiscated their mobile phones and in some cases shoes and belts. “After staying in Jeddah … they had us make a line and take off our shoes,” Abraham said. “Anything that could tie like a belt we had to leave, they wouldn’t let us take it. We were barefoot when we went to the airport.”

    Deportees often have critical needs for assistance, including medical care, some for gunshot wounds. One returnee recovering from tuberculosis said that he did not have enough money to buy food and was going hungry. Abdi said that when he left for Saudi Arabia he weighed 64 kilograms but returned weighing only 47 or 48 kilograms.

    Aid workers and diplomats familiar with migration issues in Ethiopia said that very little international assistance is earmarked for helping deportees from Saudi Arabia for medical care and shelter or money to return and reintegrate in their home villages.

    Over 8 million people are in need of food assistance in Ethiopia, a country of over 100 million. It hosts over 920,000 refugees from neighboring countries and violence along ethnic lines produced over 2.4 internally displaced people in 2018, many of whom have now been returned.

    The IOM registers migrants upon arrival in Ethiopia and to facilitate their return from Saudi Arabia. Several hours after their arrival and once registered, they leave the airport and must fend for themselves. Some said they had never been to Addis before.

    In 2013 and 2014, Saudi Arabia conducted an expulsion campaign similar to the one that began in November 2017. The earlier campaign expelled about 163,000 Ethiopians, according to the IOM. A 2015 Human Rights Watch report found that migrants experienced serious abuses during detention and deportation, including attacks by security forces and private citizens in Saudi Arabia, and inadequate and abusive detention conditions. Human Rights Watch has also previously documented mistreatment of Ethiopian migrants by traffickers and government detention centers in Yemen.

    Aid workers and diplomats said that inadequate funding to assist returning migrants is as a result of several factors, including a focus of many of the European funders on stemming migration to and facilitating returns from Europe, along with competing priorities and the low visibility of the issue compared with migration to Europe.

    During previous mass returns from Saudi Arabia, there was more funding for reintegration and more international media attention in part because there was such a large influx in a short time, aid workers said.

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/08/15/ethiopians-abused-gulf-migration-route
    #migrations #asile #violence #réfugiés #réfugiés_éthiopiens #Ethiopie #pays_du_Golfe #route_du_Golfe #mer_Rouge #Golfe_d'Aden #Yémen #Arabie_Saoudite #frontières #violent_borders #torture #trafic_d'êtres_humains #exploitation #routes_migratoires

    signalé par @isskein

    • Migrants endure sea crossing to Yemen and disembark in hell

      Zahra struggled in the blue waters of the Gulf of Aden, grasping for the hands of fellow migrants.

      Hundreds of men, women and teenagers clambered out of a boat and through the surf emerging, exhausted, on the shores of Yemen.

      The 20-year-old Ethiopian saw men armed with automatic rifles waiting for them on the beach and she clenched in terror. She had heard migrants’ stories of brutal traffickers, lurking like monsters in a nightmare. They are known by the Arabic nickname Abdul-Qawi — which means Worshipper of the Strong.

      “What will they do to us?” Zahra thought.

      She and 300 other Africans had just endured six hours crammed in a wooden smuggling boat to cross the narrow strait between the Red Sea and the gulf. When they landed, the traffickers loaded them into trucks and drove them to ramshackle compounds in the desert outside the coastal village of Ras al-Ara.

      There was Zahra’s answer. She was imprisoned for a month in a tin-roofed hut, broiling and hungry, ordered to call home each day to beseech her family to wire $2,000. She said she did not have family to ask for money and pleaded for her freedom.
      Instead, her captors raped her. And they raped the 20 other women with her — for weeks, different men all the time.

      “They used each of the girls,” she told The Associated Press. “Every night there was rape.”

      With its systematic torture, Ras al-Ara is a particular hell on the arduous, 900-mile (1,400 kilometer) journey from the Horn of Africa to oil-rich Saudi Arabia. Migrants leave home on sandaled feet with dreams of escaping poverty. They trek through mountains and deserts, sandstorms and 113-degree temperatures, surviving on crumbs of bread and salty water from ancient wells.

      In Djibouti, long lines of migrants descend single file down mountain slopes to the rocky coastal plain, where many lay eyes on the sea for first time and eventually board the boats. Some find their way safely across war-torn Yemen to Saudi Arabia, only to be caught and tossed back over the border. The lucky ones make it into the kingdom to earn their livings as a servant and laborers.


      But others are stranded in Yemen’s nightmare — in some measure because Europe has been shutting its doors, outsourcing migrants to other countries.

      The European Union began paying Libyan coast guards and militias to stop migrants there, blocking the other main route out of East Africa, through Libya and across the Mediterranean to Europe. The number of Mediterranean crossings plummeted — from 370,000 in 2016 to just over 56,000 so far this year.

      Meanwhile, more than 150,000 migrants landed in Yemen in 2018, a 50% increase from the year before, according to the International Organization for Migration.

      This year, more than 107,000 had arrived by the end of September, along with perhaps tens of thousands more the organization was unable to track — or who were buried in graves along the trail.

      And European policies may be making the Yemen route more dangerous. Funded by the EU, Ethiopia has cracked down on migrant smugglers and intensified border controls. Arrests of known brokers have prompted migrants to turn to unreliable traffickers, taking more dangerous paths and increasing the risk of abuses.

      Many of those migrants end up in Ras al-Ara.

      Nearly every migrant who lands here is imprisoned in hidden compounds while their families are shaken down for money. Like Zahra, they are subjected to daily torments ranging from beatings and rapes to starvation, their screams drowned out by the noise of generators or cars or simply lost in the desert.
      “Out of every thousand, 800 disappear in the lockups,” said a humanitarian worker monitoring the flow of migrants.

      Traffickers who torture are a mix of Yemenis and Ethiopians of different ethnic groups. So victims cannot appeal to tribal loyalties, they are tortured by men from other groups: If the migrants are Oromia, the torturers are Tigrinya.

      At the same time, because the three main ethnic groups don’t speak each others’ languages, Yemeni smugglers need translators to convey orders to the migrants and monitor their phone conversations with their families.

      The AP spoke to more than two dozen Ethiopians who survived torture at Ras al-Ara. Nearly all of them reported witnessing deaths, and one man died of starvation hours after the AP saw him.
      The imprisonment and torture are largely ignored by Yemeni authorities.

      The AP saw trucks full of migrants passing unhindered through military checkpoints as they went from the beaches to drop their human cargo at each desert compound, known in Arabic as a “hosh.”

      “The traffickers move freely, in public, giving bribes at the checkpoints,” said Mohammed Said, a former coast guard officer who now runs a gas station in the center of town.

      From Ras al-Ara, it’s nearly 50 miles in any direction to the next town. Around 8,000 families live in a collection of decaying, one-story stone houses beside dirt roads, a lone hotel and two eateries. The fish market is the center of activity when the daily catch is brought in.

      Nearly the entire population profits from the human trade. Some rent land to traffickers for the holding cells, or work as guards, drivers or translators. For others, traffickers flush with cash are a lucrative market for their food, fuel or the mildly stimulant leaves of qat, which Yemenis and Ethiopians chew daily.

      Locals can rattle off the traffickers’ names. One of them, a Yemeni named Mohammed al-Usili, runs more than 20 hosh. He’s famous for the red Nissan SUV he drives through town.

      Others belong to Sabaha, one of the biggest tribes in southern Yemen, some of whom are famous for their involvement in illicit businesses. Yemenis call the Sabaha “bandits” who have no political loyalties to any of the warring parties.
      Many traffickers speak openly of their activities, but deny they torture, blaming others.

      Yemeni smuggler Ali Hawash was a farmer who went into the human smuggling business a year ago. He disparaged smugglers who prey on poor migrants, torturing them and holding them hostage until relatives pay ransom.

      “I thought we need to have a different way,” he said, “I will help you go to Saudi, you just pay the transit and the transportation. Deal.”

      The flow of migrants to the beach is unending. On a single day, July 24, the AP witnessed seven boats pull into Ras al-Ara, one after the other, starting at 3 a.m., each carrying more than 100 people.

      The migrants climbed out of the boats into the turquoise water. One young man collapsed on the beach, his feet swollen. A woman stepped on something sharp in the water and fell screeching in pain. Others washed their clothes in the waves to get out the vomit, urine and feces from the rugged journey.

      The migrants were lined up and loaded onto trucks. They gripped the iron bars in the truck bed as they were driven along the highway. At each compound, the truck unloaded a group of migrants, like a school bus dropping off students. The migrants disappeared inside.

      From time to time, Ethiopians escape their imprisonment or are released and stagger out of the desert into town.
      Eman Idrees, 27, and her husband were held for eight months by an Ethiopian smuggler.

      She recalled the savage beatings they endured, which left a scar on her shoulder; the smuggler received $700 to take her to Saudi Arabia, but wouldn’t let her go, because “he wanted me.”

      Said, the gas station owner, is horrified by the evidence of torture he has seen, so he has made his station and a nearby mosque into a refuge for migrants. But locals say Said, too, profits from the trafficking, selling fuel for the smugglers’ boats and trucks. But that means the traffickers need him and leave him alone.

      On a day when the AP team was visiting, several young men just out of a compound arrived at the gas station. They showed deep gashes in their arms from ropes that had bound them. One who had bruises from being lashed with a cable said the women imprisoned with him were all raped and that three men had died.

      Another, Ibrahim Hassan, trembled as he showed how he was tied up in a ball, arms behind his back, knees bound against his chest. The 24-year-old said he was bound like that for 11 days and frequently beaten. His torturer, he said, was a fellow Ethiopian but from a rival ethnic group, Tigray, while he is Oromo.

      Hassan said he was freed after his father went door to door in their hometown to borrow money and gather the $2,600 that the smugglers demanded.
      “My family is extremely poor,” Hassan said, breaking down in tears. “My father is a farmer and I have five siblings.”

      Starvation is another punishment used by the traffickers to wear down their victims.

      At Ras al-Ara hospital, four men who looked like living skeletons sat on the floor, picking rice from a bowl with their thin fingers. Their bones protruded from their backs, their rib cages stood out sharply. With no fat on their bodies, they sat on rolled-up cloth because it was too painful to sit directly on bone. They had been imprisoned by traffickers for months, fed once a day with scraps of bread and a sip of water, they said.

      One of them, 23-year-old Abdu Yassin, said he had agreed with smugglers in Ethiopia to pay around $600 for the trip through Yemen to the Saudi border. But when he landed at Ras al-Ara, he was brought to a compound with 71 others, and the traffickers demanded $1,600.

      He cried as he described how he was held for five months and beaten constantly in different positions. He showed the marks from lashings on his back, the scars on his legs where they pressed hot steel into his skin. His finger was crooked after they smashed it with a rock, he said. One day, they tied his legs and dangled him upside down, “like a slaughtered sheep.”
      But the worst was starvation.

      “From hunger, my knees can’t carry my body,” he said. “I haven’t changed my clothes for six months. I haven’t washed. I have nothing.”

      Near the four men, another emaciated man lay on a gurney, his stomach concave, his eyes open but unseeing. Nurses gave him fluids but he died several hours later.

      The torment that leaves the young men and women physically and mentally shattered also leaves them stranded.

      Zahra said she traveled to Yemen “because I wanted to change my life.”

      She came from a broken home. She was a child when her parents divorced. Her mother disappeared, and her father — an engineer — remarried and wanted little to do with Zahra or her sisters. Zahra dropped out of school after the third grade. She worked for years in Djibouti as a servant, sending most of her earnings to her youngest sister back in Ethiopia.

      Unable to save any money, she decided to try her luck elsewhere.

      She spoke in a quiet voice as she described the torments she suffered at the compound.

      “I couldn’t sleep at all throughout these days,” as she suffered from headaches, she said.

      She and the other women were locked in three rooms of the hut, sleeping on the dirt floor, suffocating in the summer heat. They were constantly famished. Zahra suffered from rashes, diarrhea and vomiting.

      One group tried to flee when they were allowed to wash at a well outside. The traffickers used dogs to hunt them down, brought them back and beat them.
      “You can’t imagine,” Zahra said. “We could hear the screams.” After that, they could only wash at gunpoint.

      Finally, early one morning, their captors opened the gates and told Zahra and some of the other women to leave. Apparently, the traffickers gave up on getting money out of them and wanted to make room for others.

      Now Zahra lives in Basateen, a slum on the outskirts of southern Yemen’s main city, Aden, where she shares a room with three other women who also were tortured. .

      Among them is a 17-year-old who fidgets with her hands and avoiding eye contact. She said she had been raped more times than she can count.

      The first time was during the boat crossing from Djibouti, where she was packed in with more than 150 other migrants. Fearing the smugglers, no one dared raise a word of protest as the captain and his crew raped her and the other nine women on board during the eight-hour journey.
      “I am speechless about what happened in the boat,” the 17-year-old said.

      Upon landing, she and the others were taken to a compound, where again she was raped — every day for the next two weeks.

      “We lived 15 days in pain,” she said.

      Zahra said she’s worried she could be pregnant, and the 17-year old said she has pains in her abdomen and back she believes were caused by the rapes — but neither has money to go to a doctor.

      Nor do they have money to continue their travels.

      “I have nothing but the clothes on me,” the 17-year old said. She lost everything, including her only photos of her family.

      Now, she is too afraid to even leave her room in Basateen.
      “If we get out of here,” she said, “we don’t know what would happen to us.”

      Basateen is filled with migrants living in squalid shacks. Some work, trying to earn enough to continue their journey.

      Others, like Abdul-Rahman Taha, languish without hope.

      The son of a dirt-poor farmer, Taha had heard stories of Ethiopians returning from Saudi Arabia with enough money to buy a car or build a house. So he sneaked away from home and began walking. When he reached Djibouti, he called home asking for $400 for smugglers to arrange his trip across Yemen. His father was angry but sold a bull and some goats and sent the money.

      When Taha landed at Ras al-Ara, traffickers took him and 50 other migrants to a holding cell, lined them up and demanded phone numbers. Taha couldn’t ask his father for more money so he told them he didn’t have a number. Over the next days and weeks, he was beaten and left without food and water.

      One night, he gave them a wrong number. The traffickers flew into a rage. One, a beefy, bearded Yemeni, beat Taha’s right leg to a bloody pulp with a steel rod. Taha passed out.

      When he opened his eyes, he saw the sky. He was outdoors, lying on the ground. The traffickers had dumped him and three other migrants in the desert. Taha tried to jostle the others, but they didn’t move — they were dead.
      A passing driver took him to a hospital. There, his leg was amputated.

      Now 17, Taha is stranded. His father died in a car crash a few months ago, leaving Taha’s sister and four younger brothers to fend for themselves back home.

      Taha choked back tears. In one of their phone calls, he remembered, his father had asked him: “Why did you leave?”

      “Without work or money,” Taha told him, “life is unbearable.”

      And so it is still.

      https://apimagesblog.com/blog/migrants-endure-sea-crossing-to-yemen-and-disembark-in-hell
      #réfugiés_éthiopiens #famine #mourir_de_faim #Oromo

    • Sbarcare all’inferno. Per i migranti diretti in Europa la tappa in Yemen vuol dire stupro e tortura

      Il durissimo reportage fotografico di Associated Press in viaggio con i migranti etiopi lungo la rotta che dal Corno d’Africa porta verso la penisola arabica racconta l’orrore perpetrato negli ’#hosh' di #Ras al-Ara che la comunità internazionale non vuole vedere. Le terribili storie di Zahra, Ibrahim, Abdul e gli altri.


      http://www.rainews.it/dl/rainews/media/Sbarcare-all-inferno-Per-i-migranti-diretti-in-Europa-la-tappa-in-Yemen-vuol
      #viol #viols #torture #violences_sexuelles #photographie

  • HumanRights360 | The Mistreatment of Asylum Seekers in Greece
    https://asile.ch/2019/08/26/humanrights360-the-mistreatment-of-asylum-seekers-in-greece

    Douze organisations de la société civile dénoncent dans un rapport récent des très graves violations de droits des demandeurs d’asile en Grèce. Les violations de droits de réfugiés peuvent aller jusqu’aux traitements cruels voire à la torture. Les violences sont particulièrement alarmantes vis-à-vis des femmes. La situation désespérante dans laquelle se trouvent les réfugiés en […]

  • L’#ONU cède à la polémique et délocalise d’#Egypte sa conférence sur la #torture | Africanews
    https://fr.africanews.com/2019/08/20/l-onu-cede-a-la-polemique-et-delocalise-d-egypte-sa-conference-sur-la

    Le constat des défenseurs égyptiens des #droits de l’homme est clair : il est scandaleux pour l’ONU d’organiser une conférence contre la torture dans un pays où cette pratique est monnaie courante. Le faisant, cela serait « blanchir à la chaux » les exactions du gouvernement égyptien, arguent-ils.

  • Eritrea in caduta libera sui diritti umani

    L’Eritrea di #Isaias_Afewerki è oggi uno dei peggiori regimi al mondo. Dove la guerra con l’Etiopia è usata per giustificare un servizio militare a tempo indeterminato. E dove avere un passaporto è quasi un miraggio. Gli ultimi attacchi sono stati rivolti agli ospedali cattolici.

    Il rispetto dei diritti umani in Eritrea è solo un ricordo che si perde nei tempi. La lista di violazioni è lunga e gli esempi recenti non mancano. L’ultima mossa del regime di Isaias Afewerki, al potere dal 1991, è stata quella di ordinare la chiusura dei centri sanitari gestiti dalla Chiesa cattolica nel paese, responsabile di una quarantina tra ospedali e scuole in zone rurali che garantiscono sanità e istruzione alle fette più povere della popolazione. Ebbene, qualche giorno fa in questi luoghi si sono presentati militari armati che hanno sfondato porte e cacciato fuori malati, vecchi e bambini. E preteso l’esproprio coatto degli immobili.

    Il 29 aprile, quattro vescovi avevano chiesto di aprire un dialogo con il governo per cercare una soluzione alla crescente povertà e mancanza di futuro per il popolo. Mentre il 13 giugno sono stati arrestati cinque preti ortodossi ultrasettantenni.

    Daniela Kravetz, responsabile dei rapporti tra Nazioni Unite e Africa, ha riportato che il 17 maggio «trenta cristiani sono stati arrestati durante un incontro di preghiera, mentre qualche giorno prima erano finiti in cella 141 fedeli, tra cui donne e bambini». L’Onu chiede ora che «con urgenza il Governo eritreo torni a permettere la libera scelta di espressione religiosa».

    Guerra Eritrea-Etiopia usata come scusa per il servizio militare a tempo indeterminato

    L’ex colonia italiana ha ottenuto di fatto l’indipendenza dall’Etiopia nel 1991, dopo un conflitto durato trent’anni. E nonostante la recente distensione tra Asmara e Addis Abeba, la guerra tra le due nazioni continua a singhiozzo lungo i confini.

    Sono ancora i rapporti con la vicina Etiopia, del resto, ad essere usati dal dittatore Afewerki per giustificare l’imposizione del servizio militare a tempo indeterminato. I ragazzi, infatti, sono arruolati verso i 17 anni e il servizio militare può durare anche trent’anni, con paghe miserabili e strazianti separazioni. Le famiglie si vedono portare via i figli maschi senza conoscerne la destinazione e i ragazzi spesso non tornano più.

    Le città sono prevalentemente abitate da donne, anziani e bambini. E per chi si oppone le alternative sono la prigione, se non la tortura. Uno dei sistemi più usati dai carcerieri è la cosiddetta Pratica del Gesù, che consiste nell’appendere chi si rifiuta di collaborare, con corde legate ai polsi, a due tronchi d’albero, in modo che il corpo assuma la forma di una croce. A volte restano appesi per giorni, con le guardie che di tanto in tanto inumidiscono le labbra con l’acqua.

    Eritrea: storia di un popolo a cui è vietato viaggiare

    l passaporto, che solo i più cari amici del regime ottengono una volta raggiunta la maggiore età, per la popolazione normale è un miraggio. Il prezioso documento viene consegnato alle donne quando compiono 40 anni e agli uomini all’alba dei 50. A quell’età si spera che ormai siano passate forza e voglia di lasciare il paese.

    Oggi l’Eritrea è un inferno dove tutti spiano tuttti. Un paese sospettoso e nemico d chiunque, diventato sotto la guida di Afewerki uno dei regimi più totalitari al mondo, dove anche parlare al telefono è rischioso.

    E pensare che negli anni ’90, quando l’Eritrea si separò dall’Etiopia, era vista come la speranza dell’Africa. Un paese attivo, pieno di potenziale, che si era liberato da solo senza chiedere aiuto a nessuno. Il mondo si aspettava che diventasse la Taiwan del Corno d’Africa, grazie anche a una cultura economica che gli altri stati se la sognavano.

    L’Ue investe in Etiopia ed Eritrea

    L’Unione europea sta per erogare 312 milioni di euro di aiuti al Corno d’Africa per la costruzione di infrastrutture che consentiranno di far transitare merci dall’Etiopia al mare, attraversando quindi l’Eritrea. Una decisione su cui ha preso posizione Reportes sans frontières, che chiede la sospensione di questo finanziamento ad un paese che, si legge in una nota, «continua a violare i diritti umani, la libertà di espressione e e di informazione e detiene arbitrariamente, spesso senza sottoporli ad alcun processo, decine di prigionieri politici, tra cui molti giornalisti».

    Cléa Kahn-Sriber, responsabile di Reporter sans frontières in Africa, ha dichiarato essere «sbalorditivo che l’Unione europea sostenga il regime di Afeweki con tutti questi aiuti senza chiedere nulla in cambio in materia di diritti umani e libertà d’espressione. Il regime ha più giornalisti in carcere di qualsiasi altro paese africano. Le condizioni dei diritti umani sono assolutamente vergognose».

    La Fondazione di difesa dei Diritti umani per l’Eritrea con sede in Olanda e composta da eritrei esiliati sta intraprendendo azioni legali contro l’Unione europea. Secondo la ricercatrice universitaria eritrea Makeda Saba, «l’Ue collaborerà e finanzierà la #Red_Sea_Trading_Corporation, interamente gestita e posseduta dal governo, società che il gruppo di monitoraggio dell’Onu su Somalia ed Eritrea definisce coinvolta in attività illegali e grigie nel Corno d’africa, compreso il traffico d’armi, attraverso una rete labirintica multinazionale di società, privati e conti bancari». Un bel pasticcio, insomma.

    Pericoloso lasciare l’Eritrea: il ruolo delle ambasciate

    Chi trova asilo in altre nazioni vive spiato e minacciato dai propri connazionali. Lo ha denunciato Amnesty International, secondo cui le nazioni dove i difensori dei diritti umani eritrei corrono i maggiori rischi sono Kenya, Norvegia, Olanda, Regno Unito, Svezia e Svizzera. Nel mirino del potere eritreo ora c’è anche un prete candidato al Nobel per la pace nel 2015, Mussie Zerai.

    «I rappresentanti del governo eritreo nelle ambasciate impiegano tutte le tattiche per impaurire chi critica l’amministrazione del presidente Afewerki, spiano, minacciano di morte. Chi è scappato viene considerato traditore della patria, sovversivo e terrorista».

    In aprile il ministro dell’Informazione, #Yemane_Gebre_Meskel, e gli ambasciatori di Giappone e Kenia hanno scritto su Twitter post minacciosi contro gli organizzatori e i partecipanti ad una conferenza svoltasi a Londra dal titolo “Costruire la democrazia in Eritrea”. Nel tweet, #Meskel ha definito gli organizzatori «collaborazionisti».

    Non va meglio agli esiliati in Kenya. Nel 2013, a seguito del tentativo di registrare un’organizzazione della società civile chiamata #Diaspora_eritrea_per_l’Africa_orientale, l’ambasciata eritrea ha immediatamente revocato il passaporto del presidente e co-fondatore, #Hussein_Osman_Said, organizzandone l’arresto in Sud Sudan. L’accusa? Partecipare al terrorismo, intento a sabotare il governo in carica.

    Amnesty chiede quindi «che venga immediatamente sospeso l’uso delle ambasciate all’estero per intimidire e reprimere le voci critiche».

    Parlando delle ragioni che hanno scatenato l’ultimo atto di forza contro gli ospedali, padre Zerai ha detto che «il regime si è giustificato facendo riferimento a una legge del 1995, secondo cui le strutture sociali strategiche come ospedali e scuole devono essere gestite dallo stato».

    Tuttavia, questa legge non era mai stata applicata e non si conoscono i motivi per cui all’improvviso è cominciata la repressione. Padre Zerai la vede così: «La Chiesa cattolica eritrea è indipendente e molto attiva nella società, offre supporto alle donne, sostegno ai poveri e ai malati di Aids ed è molto ascoltata». A preoccupare il padre, e non solo lui, sono ora «il silenzio dell’Unione europea e della comunità internzionale. Siamo davati a crimini gravissimi e il mondo tace».

    https://www.osservatoriodiritti.it/2019/07/04/eritrea-news-etiopia-guerra
    #droits_humains #Erythrée #COI #Afewerki #service_militaire #guerre #Ethiopie #religion #passeport #torture #totalitarisme #dictature #externalisation #UE #EU #aide_au_développement #coopération_au_développement #répression #Eglise_catholique

  • La vérité sanglante du goulag syrien
    Anne Barnard, The New-York Times, le 11 mai 2019
    https://blogs.mediapart.fr/saintupery/blog/010619/la-verite-sanglante-du-goulag-syrien

    Pendant sept ans, les journalistes du New York Times ont interviewé des dizaines de survivants des prisons syriennes et de parents des détenus et des disparus. Ils ont analysé les documents officiels du régime et examiné des centaines de pages de témoignages judiciaires ou provenant d’autres sources. Un portrait glaçant de la thanatocratie de Bashar al-Assad et de son univers de terreur.

    Traduction de :

    Inside Syria’s Secret Torture Prisons : How Bashar al-Assad Crushed Dissent
    Anne Barnard, The New-York Times, le 11 mai 2019
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/11/world/middleeast/syria-torture-prisons.html

    #Syrie #Prisons #Torture #Bachar_el-Assad