Saturday, June 25, 2011

EU Fails Migrants And Refugees From Libya

European Union (EU) heads of state meeting in Brussels, the last couple of days, should have put human rights at the heart of EU migration and asylum policy, Human Rights Watch had said in the run up to the summit. Migration is high on the agenda for the European Council summit on June 23 and 24, 2011, with external border control, free movement inside the EU, the Common European Asylum system, and migration cooperation with North Africa expected to be discussed.
"The EU talks a lot these days about promoting its values in the Middle East and North Africa," said Judith Sunderland, senior Western Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch. "But when it comes to migrants and asylum seekers, those values are all too often thrown out the window."

This week we also learned that:
"African migrants brought a case against Italy before European judges yesterday, claiming their rights were violated after they were intercepted at sea and forced to return to Libya.
The case involves 11 Somalians and 13 Eritrean nationals who left Libya in 2009 on boats bound for Italy, whose Mediterranean islands have become entry points for illegal migration to Europe.
The migrants said they were transferred to Italian naval vessels and were not told that their destination was back to Tripoli, where they claim they faced the risk of ill-treatment, or else being sent home to Somalia and Eritrea.
At the hearing before the European Court of Human Rights, lawyers for the Africans argued that Italy failed to respect European laws against collective expulsion and also torture, given the threat of violent acts the migrants faced in Libya or their homelands."

President Jacob Zuma will host the African Union Ad Hoc High Level Committee on Libya in Pretoria today. The committee will discuss implementation of the AU roadmap on Libya.

Six migrants were killed in violence last month in a refugee camp in Tunisia set up for some of the thousands of people who have fled the conflict in Libya, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.

Last week Italy signed an accord with the head of Libya's interim rebel government on Friday to jointly tackle a migration crisis triggered by the violence.

Roberto Maroni said the same day:
"NATO, for example, which has ships off the Libyan coast to stop trade, could be required to stop people from leaving. It would be a solution to the problem."

The International Organisation for Migration (IMO) estimates a million people have flooded out of Libya alone since the uprisings began. The vast majority -- about 98 percent -- have ended up in neighbouring states like Egypt, Tunisia or Algeria. But along with the thousands of Tunisians who have taken advantage of looser security following the fall of president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, enough have headed north to Europe to trigger a crisis there.

On friday heads of the EU's 27 member states said at a summit in Brussels that border controls could be introduced in "truly critical" circumstances, but added that free movement of people was a fundamental freedom.

Human Rights Watch concluded:
"European leaders made no commitments to reform unfair aspects of EU asylum policy, offer resettlement to refugees from North Africa, or intensify efforts to prevent deaths of boat migrants in the Mediterranean"

It's clear that the heads of states ignored European Union immigration chief Cecilia Malmstrom who accused EU governments on Wednesday of allowing xenophobic sentiments in Europe to dictate immigration policy and failing to protect refugees from North Africa.

She had urged the 27 heads of state
"to make more efforts to resettle people fleeing turmoil and to improve Europe's asylum provisions. "

According to Richard M. Salsman
"The legal clock has already run out on Obama’s Libyan invasion"
but NATO's Joint Operations chief in Naples,US Admiral Locklear, has said that his mission, he says unambiguously, is to kill Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qaddafi. He also believes that NATO will have to put troops on the ground in Libya to restore stability once his goal has been achieved.

President Barack Obama and the State Department apparently didn't bother to tell both the international community and the American people the truth about their objectives. Were President Obama and his advisers doing a "John 16 verse 12" on us?

"I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth"

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