Oduu Haaraya

Libya: Thousands of Refugees in Life-Threatening

HRLHA Urgent Action

September 24, 2013

For Immediate Release

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) has learnt through its correspondents that hundreds of thousands of refugees in Libya, most of whom were from the Horn of African countries such as Ethiopian and Eritrea, are in a very dangerous situation after they were evicted from their original refugee camps in Benghazi, Libya where they stayed for the past three years. The eviction took place following the infiltration and assault of the refugees by who were described as workers of the Libyan Red Crescent on the 13th of September, 2013. The assault included beating and stabbings by knives. Those who broke out of the shelters to run away from the assaults were met with Libyan armed forces that were stationed around the camps prior to the starting of the assault. Then, the refugees were forced out of the camp on allegations that they attempted to instigate disturbances in the city, and taken to remote area known as Alshatti.

According to HRLHA correspondents, about 500 refugees are now held in what was known to be a private detention centre in Alshatti located on Sahara Desert border with no adequate supply of basic necessities. HRLHA has also learnt that the very adverse weather condition at Alshatti has worsened the situation to the refugees. Even two expecting women who delivered after arriving in Alshatti and their newly born infants were not treated differently. The fact that the refugees are now held in isolation where they are not visited by international agencies like the UN High Commission for Refugees and the ICRC until this Urgent Action is documented,  as they used to when they were sheltered in Benghazi, added to the very unfriendly living condition has raised their frustrations. The refugees who were contacted by HRLHA also mention that there have been detachments and disconnections among refugees who had acquaintances and/or relationships with each other. Most of the refugees who were taken to Alshatti are originally from Ethiopia and Eritrea, HRLHA correspondents have added.

The HRLHA managed to obtain the names of the following 33 refugees:

No Name Country of origin
1 Foad Kasim Ethiopia, Oromo
2 Abdi Nagassa Ethiopia, Oromo
3 Derje Gezahegn Ethiopia, Amhara
4 Dereje Tefera Ethiopia, Amhara
5 Abdulhamid Abdurahiman Ethiopia, Oromo
6 Nuredin Haji Ethiopia, Oromo
7 Mulatu Kassa Ethiopia, Amhara
8 Abdurahiman Jailan Ethiopia, Oromo
9 Aman Amid Ethiopia, Oromo
10 Nahom Gebre Mariam Eritrea
11 Hani Gebre Nugus Ertrea
12 Umar Mohamed Ertrea
13 Wubshet Tesfaye Ethiopia, Amhara
14 Abdi Husein Ethiopia, Oromo
15 Mohamed Lencho Ethiopia, Oromo
16 Husein Abdulkadir Ethiopia, Oromo
17 Wazir Awol Ethiopia, Oromo
18 Husein Ahmed Ethiopia, Oromo
19 Amadu Tesema Ethiopia. Amhara
20 Tekie Girmay Eritrea
21 Abdulmohamed Nur Ertirea
22 Naigzi Goyitom Eritrea
23 Nigusu Abriham Eritrea
24 Saladin Mohamed Eritrea
25 Mohamed Sale Eritrea
26 Abel Tadesse Ethiopia, Amhara
27 Gemed Fikadu Ethiopia, Amhara
28 Yusuf Tahir Ethiopia, Oromo
29 Abduzamed Mohamed Ethiopia, Oromo
30 Aliyi Haji Ethiopia, Oromo
31 Awol Adam Ethiopia, Oromo
32 Selemon Desta Ethiopia, Amhara
33 Kedir Mohamed Ethiopia, Oromo

HRLHA is highly concerned about the safety and future fates of those asylum seekers and refugees in such an isolated and disconnected socio-political environment. Therefore, HRLHA calls up on the Libyan Government, first of all to ensure the safety and well being of the refugees and asylum seekers by providing full protection against any kind of attacks from any side or angle and allow access to the new location to the representatives of regional and international UN and humanitarian agencies as well as media organizations so that they could receive all the supports they need especially to bring their refugee lives to an end.

The HRLHA also urges all national, regional and international human rights groups, donor countries and organizations to join hands in putting pressure on the Libyan   government so that it abides by the international norms, the 1951 International Convention of the refugees and asylum seekers and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights article 14 (1) “ Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.”


Please send appeals to the Libyan Government, concerned Libyan officials and to diplomatic representatives of Libya who are accredited to your country as swiftly as possible, in English, in Berber or Libyan Arabic Language, or in your own language expressing:

Your concern regarding the mistreatment of asylum seekers and refugees in Libya and they should be treated according to the 1951 International Convention of the refugees and asylum seekers and other international norms of refugee and asylum seekers rights.

Appeal to:

1. His Excellency Dr. Ali Zidan Prime Minster of Libya
Tel: +218(21) 444 3700, Fax: +218 (21) 360 0889

2. His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Abdul-Aziz
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Libya
Tel: 22 – 2921 340 21 218

Copied To:

UNHCR main office Geneva, Switzerland.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Case Postale 2500
CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt
Suisse.  telephone number: +41 22 739 8111

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais Wilson , 52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland Telephone: +41 22 917 9656
Mail: civilsocietyunit@ohchr.org

African Commission on Human and Peoples‘ Rights (ACHPR
48 Kairaba Avenue, P.O.Box 673, Banjul, The Gambia.
Tel: (220) 4392 962 , 4372070, 4377721 – 23
Fax: (220) 4390 764
 E-mail: achpr@achpr.org

Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights Council of Europe
F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, FRANCE
Tel: + 33 (0)3 88 41 34 21
Fax: + 33 (0)3 90 21 50 53

U.S. Department of State
Laura Hruby
Ethiopia Desk Officer
U.S. State Department
Tel: (202) 647-6473

Amnesty International Secretariat – London
Telephone: 44 20 74135500
Fax: 44 20 79561157
1Easton Street
London, WC1X0DW, UK

Human Rights Watch – New York, Tel: +1-212-290-4700
Email: hrwnyc@hrw.org

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