During her two-day visit to Tripolis, EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström agreed to cooperation on migration between the EU and Libya. In its declarations, the Commission seeks to conceal all central aspects of this fatal alliance against the protection of refugees.
“Given the severe violations of human rights in Libya, it is simply cynical that the Commission lists the section “international protection” in its Memo on the cooperation with Libya from 5 October in the first place. Right now refugees are fair game there.” says Karl Kopp, director of European Affairs with PRO ASYL. The EU now wants to help “Libyan authorities” with screening those who are in need of international protection.
The European Parliament has condemned human rights violations in Libya with remarkable unambiguousness in its Decision from 17 June 2010. Here it says that Libyan “detention centers” are sites of “mistreatment, torture and killing” and that refugees are abandoned “on the deserted borders between Libya and other African countries”. The European Parliament reminds that in Libya, “refugees constantly risk being deported to their states of origin and transit without the Geneva Refugee Convention criteria being respected, putting them at risk of persecution and death”.
Libya has not signed the Geneva Convention on Refugees and Dictator Gaddafi has repeatedly stated that he does not intend to do so. Even human rights accords that have been signed by Libya, such as the Refugee Convention of the African Union from 10. September 1969, are being breached on a daily basis. “Standards are not implemented yet” as it would be called in the parlance of the Commission.
The simple truth is: “you cannot arrange for a protection of refugees with the Libyan regime and none of the political decision makers in Europe would believe such a thing“says Kopp. EU Commissioner Malmström does mention in every statement concerning this “difficult partnership” that the Commission wants to put the basic rights of refugees in Libya into the center of all its efforts. However, the years of cozying up with Libya aim at one sole purpose: to deter protection seekers from fleeing to Europe.
PRO ASYL appeals to the European Parliament to follow up on its clear condemnation of Libya and to take political action: the Commission has to be stopped. Any cooperation with the Libyan regime on asylum and migration has to be ceased immediately. There may not be a partnership with a regime that commits severe violations of human rights. The EU will otherwise disrupt its remaining credibility concerning human rights and the protection of refugees.