Saturday, April 09, 2005
  Military camps for refugees - the reality of off-shore centres
"Four years ago, the western press received first reliable reports on internment camps in Libya. In September and October 2000, pogroms against migrant workers took place in Libya and 130 to 500 sub-Saharan Africans were killed in the capitol Tripoli and the Tripoli area. To escape the persecution, thousands of builders and service sector employees from Niger, Mali, Nigeria, and Ghana fled south. Many of them were stopped at road blocks in the Sahara and taken to Libyan military camps. Le Monde Diplomatique reported on several camps in where migrants and refugees have been held since 1996 - about 6,000 Ghanaians and 8,000 people from Niger are supposed to be held in one of them alone. The Ghanaian president Jerry Rawlings visited the camp to bring back some hundred compatriots. The Somali Consultative Council appealed to Gaddafi on 22 February 2004 "to unconditionally release the Somali refugees who are imprisoned in your country and who have started a hunger strike immediately and not send them back to the civil war in Somalia." In the beginning of October 2004, the Italian state TV channel RAI showed pictures from a Libyan refugee camp. Hundreds of people were depicted in a court yard, heavily guarded; the barracks apparently do not have sleeping facilities. Reports of some of the Somalis who have recently been deported to Libya confirm the existence of these camps. /../

"In the beginning of the current Iraq war, Tony Blair suggested the creation of refugee camps under the supervision of the EU but outside its territory. His "new vision for refugees", published in March 2003, foresaw returning those who would apply for asylum in the EU to outside the EU's borders. His vision was one of a 'camp universe', set up by EU officers and made up of Transit Processing Centres (TPC) in front of the gates of the EU, together with the UNHCR and the notorious International Organisation for Migration (IOM). From there they would be able to bring the refugees back to "safe" zones near their regions of origin and select a few for entry into the EU. When that plan became known to the public, it went down in a storm of protest. /../

This whole article can be read at Statewatch

International law? What is it? Guantanamo just-do-it-style? Disregard excisting international agreements and let ad-hoc war-like rule reign?
Just some weeks ago hundreds of people came with little boats from North Africa to the Island of Lampedusa, under Sicily. Without any kind of registration, or any particular attention to their situations the people were immediately flown 'back' into Libya. Special airplanes. No international observers. Among these people Iraqis, Chinese, North Africans, and so on. Did Linton Kweesie Johnson mean this when he sung: *Europa - y'r rope* ?
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