Secret Deportation of 12 Eritreans from Libya

In mid January 2010, there was a concerted plan to deport Eritreans from Libyan detention centres back to Eritrea; there is no doubt that the Eritrean Embassy orchestrated this new horrifying development. This fact was made public at the time thanks to the cooperative work of Eritreans in Tripoli and in diaspora and with the help of all international humanitarian organizations, journalists and interested individuals. This well-organized fight against the hidden agenda brought some change and the plan was held on standby for a while, but not, unfortunately, abandoned. 
 
According to Radio Erena (http://www.erena.org/), an independent radio station broadcasting Eritrean programmes from Paris, twelve Eritreans have now been kidnapped from among sixty-seven Eritrean detainees and they were sent back to Eritrea on 2nd February 2010, after being detained in terrible conditions, sometimes without food, and frequently beaten, in a Libyan detention centre for five months. It has been reported that nine of the deportees have been detained incommunicado in Embatkala prison, and their names are: 

Zigta Tewelde, Asmelash Kidane , Captain Zeraburuk Tsehaye, 2nd Lt. Zewde Teferi, Yohannes Tekle , Ghebrekidan Tesema, Assistance Tilinte Estifanos Halefom, Nebyat Tesfay and Tilinte Tesfagabre Mengstu. 
 
Habte Semere and Yonas Ghebremichael who worked for the President Office before they left Eritrea are detained in Ghedem prison near to Massawa. 
 
The news further states that these twelve Eritreans were working in different ministries before they left Eritrea and two of them were members of the Eritrean Air Force. The kidnapping is even more alarming than usual because it demonstrates that the Eritrean government is acquiring access to information enabling it to screen out the most wanted political refugees regardless of their rights to international protection. 
 
Now, the situation becomes more serious than before as selective deportation is more dangerous than mass deportation, and the international community should condemn the development as the action is clearly violating basic human rights. Nobody can doubt the fate of these twelve Eritreans: they will either be tortured or killed, in many cases both, in underground cells; human beings deprived of the most basic human rights whose only ’crime’ is to seek a life away from a heartless dictatorship, away from starvation, enforced military conscription, rape, torture, intimidation, widespread corruption, and the absence of any real law. 
 
The UNHCR, International Organization for Peace, Care and Relief (IOPCR), Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, CSW, and other respected humanitarian organizations should pressurize Libya to stop the deportation of Eritreans to a place they are afraid of, in this particular case the living hell that is Eritrea. 
 
Libya is violating its mandate under the AU protocols, and mocking a basic respect for human dignity. Libya should provide protection to all political refugees who flee from their own country to get asylum abroad. 
 
Human Rights Concern – Eritrea condemns this action and urges the international community to carry out its mandate by stopping the deportation of Eritreans back to Eritrea against their will. 

Human Rights Concern – Eritrea
London, U.K
19 February 2010
www.hrc-eritrea.org

 

 
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