giovedì 3 marzo 2011

Eritreans in Malta call for government, international community to help co-nationals in Libya

A crowd of around fifty men and women gathered opposite the law courts in a peaceful solidarity demonstration for relatives in Libya

A sizeable crowd from the Eritrean community in Malta gathered in Great Siege Square, Valletta this afternoon, in a peaceful demonstration of solidarity for relatives and fellow nationals stranded in Libya.

A spokesman for the Eritrean community Goitom Yosief Asmelash appealed to the International Community and to the Maltese government to help protect asylum seekers stranded in Libya, either in detention centres or those hiding in homes.
“Asylum seekers in Libya have long faced blatant violations of their human rights…our brothers and sisters there have told us of the atrocious racist violence they are suffering at the hands of anti-government protestors, especially because of reports that the mercenaries engaged by Gaddafi are sub-Saharan Africans,” he said.
Asmelash said there are an estimated 2,000 Eritrean asylum seekers in Tripoli, with smaller numbers in Benghazi, suffering from fear of attack, hunger and thirst.
Around fifty members of the Eritrean community in Malta were standing in Valletta with placards in hand saying ‘Don’t let asylum seekers die’, ‘Evacuate and protect’ and ‘Save our people now’. Two men at the front of the crowd were holding a white piece of cloth with ‘solidarity’ written in red.
Asmelash commended the Maltese government for giving protection to asylum seekers, “and for the extraordinary efforts it is now making to provide assistance to the humanitarian mission to evacuate foreign nationals from Libya.”
He concluded the address by appealing to foreign embassies and diplomatic representatives in Malta and to encourage their respective countries to provide protection and to the Maltese government to accept to shelter some of the asylum seekers, especially those with spouses or relatives in Malta.

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