SW7 5WS, UK
30 June 2010
URGENT APPEAL BY HRCE ON BEHALF OF THE DETAINEES IN MISRATA PRISON WHOSE LIVES ARE IN DANGER RIGHT NOW
PLEASE HELP TO STOP THESE BRUTAL BEATINGS AND PLANNED DEPORTATION
Over the past two weeks about 280 detainees in Misrata prison have been forced to fill in repatriation forms given to the prison authorities by the Eritrean Embassy in Libya. Those who refused to co-operate have been physically abused, some kept in solitary confinement, and some without food and water. As if this torture and flagrant abuse of human rights were not enough the guards have taken to beating up the remaining detainees and ordered them to remain in their cells. On Tuesday 29 June 2010, out of fear, all the detainees came out into the prison compound and refused to be separated fearing that they will be deported. Over 150 Special Forces called ‘Ranger’ have joined the guards in beating up these helpless detainees.
At about 6:00 p.m, the detainees were ordered to go back to their cells and told not to move. They have not been given food or water since. They were beaten even while walking to their cells. 14 sustained serious injury and fainted. Some of these were taken to hospital. The majority who sustained injuries were not given medical attention.
At 5:00 a.m in the morning, three military convoys brought more soldiers to continue beating the 230 detainees and took them one by one from their cells and loaded them onto big military convoys. The convoys are covered and they are dark inside. The detainees have not been given food or drink since yesterday lunchtime and they are being driven to the southern part of Libya towards Sebha Airport even as they collapse from lack of food and drink. So far they have been travelling for 13 hours (it is 18:00 p.m. London time) without even being able to relieve themselves. At least 10 detainees who have had health issues have collapsed and are in critical situation.
Most animals receive better treatment.
Most criminals receive better treatment.
These are neither animals nor criminals; they are decent human beings looking for a safe life.
Why are they being treated like this?
The soldiers told the detainees, “We can deport you, or dump you in the sea. We can do what we want.” How can this brutality not be stopped? Why are these evil-doers not held to account?
Men, women and children are all at the mercy of these armies and their convoys acting without mercy on the orders of the Eritrean government, the very government they were trying to escape from.
How can President Gaddafi stand by and do nothing while people are treated like this in his country? How can the Libyan Justice Minister justify his title when there is evidently no justice for these Eritreans?
These refugees, I repeat: refugees, not criminals, not animals, were taken to Sabha detention centre, near to Sabha Airport, situated on the edge of the Sahara, after brutal treatment and are now being taken to yet another undisclosed destination in the southern part of Libya with no regard for basic human conditions of health; many will die; many will sustain irreparable physical and psychological damage.
And what of the fifty or so who have been left behind in Misrata prison?
The last two days have been even worse than the three and a half years of continuing brutality in the prison.
And what lies at the end of this deadly road? More torture, in Eritrea, more pain, more death. Who will stop it?
Some may be driven into the desert and left to die. Would any human being do this to even their worst enemy? Apparently, the Libyan government, and its ally in crime the Eritrean government, think that this is acceptable behaviour.
It seems clear that the recent closure of the UNHCR office http://hrc-eritrea.org/article.php?id=126 was merely a prelude to this kind of inhumanity, and worse to come.
Please appeal to the Libyan Government, and to anyone concerned with human rights, to stop this brutality from continuing.
THESE PEOPLE NEED YOUR HELP RIGHT NOW
PLEASE SEND YOUR APPEAL TO:
Colonel Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi
Leader of the Revolution
Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriy
Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to:
Mustafa Muhammad Abdeljalil
Secretary of the General People's Committee for Justice
Secretariat of the General People's Committee for Justice
Al-Salad Street, Tripoli
Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Fax: +218 21 4805427/4809266
Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi
Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation
El-Fateh Tower, 5th Floor – no. 57, Tripoli,
Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Fax: +218 21 3350263/ 4778766
UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Case Postale 2500
CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives of Libya accredited to your country or your country of residence.