lunedì 2 agosto 2010

The truth about Eritreans "liberated" by Gaddafi. Interview with Mussie Zerai

By Erica Balduzzi and Emilio Fabio Torsello Stranded at the foot of the Libyan desert, forgotten by the international community and forced to live in the middle of a road. After the "liberation" from the Libyan government official decided about three thousand of immigrants imprisoned by Gaddafi, back on the right to criticize and question interview Mussie Zerai, head priest Eritrean NGO Habeshia, commitment to the issue of human rights for refugees and blocked escape Eritrea in Libya. Following complaints of the same inhumane conditions for Zerai inequity treatment that these people were subjected in Libyan prisons, the issue has again been forgotten by Italian institutions after the apparent "liberation" of migrants. Critics right has tried to shed light on this human tragedy continues, completely ignored. Moses Zerai, of Eritrean refugees stranded in international waters and rejected by Italy in Libya, now speaks almost no more. Yet the incident has brought to light the issue of migration from one country - the Eritrea-which in Italy does not know practically nothing. Eritrea is a military regime, a dictatorship in effect keeping the country under control so pervasive not guarantee or no freedom of press or expression or movement nor policy, such that there are no other parties to outside of what the regime says. There is total freedom of religion and religions other than four are recognized by the persecuted. Then there is the question of military service every man below the age of 45 must serve in the army for twenty or thirty years, so a young man has the ability to create a life of its own. Many migrants are fleeing from this also forced militarization in addition to the long list of non-freedom that prevent a peaceful and serene life. Once in Libya, what happens to these young people? The Eritrean refugees are often victims of turnovers and traffickers that the Libyan police, involved in trade in human beings. When migrants cross the border between Sudan and Libya and arrive in the first town across the border, Kufra, are delivered by a trafficker to another. Often called the police take custody of the refugees and encloses them in detention centers such as Kufra, one of the most terrible. If these people can put together a sufficient sum of money, then are freed and can groped another route to get to Europe. Unless they are killed by desert or by the Libyan police violence and human trafficking. After signing the agreement between Italy and Libya, however, even those who manage to reach the coast and from, are often brought back. In a few manage to overcome controls. According to a letter in the right to criticize is held in May 2010 a boat full of Eritrean refugees would be rejected a few miles from Lampedusa and stated in Libya. The results? Yes, certainly. Among the 250 Eritrean refugees that have been discussed recently, 105 people were dismissed between 2009 and 2010 by the Italian territorial waters. The last were dismissed in June 2010. There are Italian operators in Libya coordinating operations from the ground? Regarding operations, Italy undoubtedly helps Libya on the side of supply logistics. From an organizational perspective, however, management is Libyan. How can cost an Eritrean a so-called 'Journey of Hope' to Europe? The price is around four thousand dollars for the entire trip and is roughly equivalent to one year's salary of a person with a well paid job. What is the current situation of these refugees who, according to Libya, were released? Were released about three thousand people of different nationalities, including Eritreans. The problem is that physically they are no longer in the detention center but are in condition of total neglect. The Eritrean Sebah, so we raised the alarm, were released and left the road near the desert, living only through the charity of local people, except those who managed to get something to send friends relatives residing in other cities. For the rest, have received no assistance. The Libyan government initially undertook to pay the transport from Sebah to Tripoli or measured, but nothing happened like that. The refugees are forbidden to leave the city. Some migrants have succeeded - again - to reach Tripoli after paying a sum of money but who has nothing is stranded, stuck, and lives on the street. Exactly how many Eritreans were released and how? Were released the 205 who were in prison at Braq, together with those who were confined in the detention center measured. It was given them a temporary permit for three months, after which must submit an identity document issued by the country of origin. This circumstance will not occur and most likely will return to being illegal, the problem was not solved but only postponed. The only real solution for these people is resettlement, or a program for transferring asylum seekers and refugees to countries to recognize the status of 'refugee' (which however does not Libya), and then to ensure these people the protection they need. Mussie what is the attitude of the international community and European agencies such as Frontex? That the international community has a policy pilatesca. Frontex is of little value: it is a machine that consumes a lot of money on patrols but was not able to save lives when they died last August in the Mediterranean 73 Eritreans. It is not clear in practice, what are the Frontex. More generally, it was implemented a closure policy towards immigration and does not distinguish between who is really in need of international protection as asylum seekers, refugees and those fleeing war and persecution. Europe, and that is what we ask, should open a protected path of entry for these people. In terms of NGOs, what is the real possibility of operating in Libya? On Libya are NGOs such as International Organization for Migration (IOM) and institutions like the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) , whose office was first closed and then reopened with an operation just a facade. As I was told, in fact, the UNHCR are not even able to go on site to monitor the condition of refugees. Were allowed - only for the city of Tripoli - to go from their home to the office of the UN. Specifically, can continue to follow only those cases that ran before closing and opened negotiations to see if the UNHCR can continue or not the activity. IOM, however, dealt only some cases of resettlement and is not well understood its powers in the country. Then there are the Italian Council for Refugees (CIR), but its presence is a condition, an NGO and the Libyan migrants themselves, but for which little trust and I wonder if it is not the long arm of the government. Mussie as regards the current Italian policy on immigration? There is little to comment: Italy was among the first countries to erect a wall to prevent the entry of those who were and are asking for help, without stopping to examine the legal position of migrants or to assist them, as happened in late June, when the Italian authorities since it arrived a Libyan vessel to recover a boat full of refugees, stops a few meters from the territorial waters of Italy. This is a total closure: it denies the right of asylum. What is the situation of those who manage to get to Italy and see recognized refugee status? Take the case of Rome. In the area of Romanina buildings are occupied while in Ponte Mammolo there is a genuine refugee slums where migrants live, and with a residence permit for five years, or foreigners which has been recognized protection. All persons so-called "regular." It is, therefore, license valid only on paper. In fact, the level of assistance, the welfare system instead of Italy does not provide guarantees that exist in other European countries. Migrants are given a document that allows him to remain on the Italian territory but in fact must fend for themselves. The next step is the black: 90% of these people end up in the circuit of the underground economy, in a state of total insecurity. Written by Erica Balduzzi on August 2, 2010.

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