09.06.2010

PRO ASYL calls for an end to EU cooperation with Libya

After the expulsion of the UN refugee Agency (UNHCR) from Libya, PRO ASYL calls for the cessation of all payments made by the European Union and the end of any cooperation in migration and refugee policy with Libya. A European rescue plan has to be set up in order to end the suffering of refugees detained under inhumane conditions in Libya.

“No more Euros for refugee defence in Libya and a common EU initiative for affording adequate refuge in Europe to the transit refugees detained in Libya”, demands Karl Kopp, PRO ASYL Director for European Affairs, in the light of the dramatic escalation in Libya.

Now that the UNHCR, who never gained a legal status in Libya, has to leave off work, there won´t be any witnesses to document the human rights violations against people seeking protection. At the same time the co-operation with the Gaddafi regime belongs to one of the bloodiest chapters of the EU refugee policy.

For years, the EU and its member states have been courting with Muammar al-Gaddafi in order to block escape routes to Europe. The EU institutions look away, while Italy is violating international and European law by forcing back boat people to Libyan detention camps.

The Members of the European Parliament, the EU Commission and the member states know about detention, maltreatment, torture and sexual violence that protection seekers suffer in Libya. Nevertheless Europe holds on to collaborate with the Libyan regime. In a range of EU documents cooperation with Libya is a top-priority. The regime is being equipped with vehicles, ships, arms, body bags and funds for deportation flights as well as detention camps by the European Union and its member states. Human rights violations, also carried out in the name of Europe, are simply blanked out.

The expulsion of the UNHCR has to have consequences. The European Parliament and the newly appointed EU Commission have to end this complicity with Libya.

Note:

Among others the Jesuite Refugee Service (JRS) has documented testimonies of refugees about their experiences in Libya.

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