The world has reached a low point where human rights abuses can easily be brushed under the carpet, with national interests trumping human rights. There is little regard for the plight of those ravaged by conflict. It is no longer clear whether the world has grown weary of ceaseless conflicts, to the point of drafting policies that effectively shut out the affected.
The situation in Libya has deteriorated to an extent where availing you are there is tantamount to a gruesome death sentence. The situation is getting worse and protracted in Tripoli, Libya's capital. Yet despite this, EU policy is effectively shutting out refugees desperately seeking a breath of fresh air, to heave a sigh of relief and peace.
Sally Hayden carried a report of how dreadful the situation is for the Libyan refugees. She heralded the suffering of these refugees, who sent her details of their dire and horrendous situation. Thousands of refugees are being locked up indefinitely in detention centres in Tripoli, after being forced back to Libya under EU policy.
"The same day, hundreds in the Abu Salim detention centre had been threatened by unknown men with guns, while a pregnant woman collapsed from sickness amid heavy rain. Since 26 August, Tripoli has experienced the worst fighting in years, as rival militias fight to take control of the city. As the UN-backed government declared a state of emergency and shells began to fall indiscriminately, refugees and migrants were abandoned or released on to the dangerous streets. Some resorted to drinking toilet water to survive. Others were stuck on front lines, shot at or abducted by suspected traffickers, or cowered together as bombs went off beside them."
Fighting in Libya has increased and has become the worst ever seen. Sometime last month, there was a mass jailbreak by 400 prisoners, adding to the already-existing chaos on Tripoli's streets. Saying that Libya is a "safe country" would be grossly inaccurate, as purported by some Europeans. Refugees in Tripoli are starving and they are desperate. To make matters worse, it just seems as if there is no recourse for them.
Europe has embarked on a journey to effectively shut out African migrants fleeing the debilitating conditions in their countries. It is a "stop the boats" policy designed to send back refugees to their countries. Migrants and refugees are locked up indefinitely after being returned to Libya by the EU-backed Libyan coastguard.
There's just tons of uncertainty weighing down those locked up because of the sinister possibilities that may befall them. They have no recourse to judicial review, instead of waiting for help from the UN, while praying not to be sold to traffickers by Libyan authorities who regularly threaten and insult them. There are roughly 7,000 people in "official" Tripoli detention centres, including 640 children, according to the UN.
These are some of the figures that portray a gloomy picture of Libya according to Sally Hayden's report: one in five migrants who tried to escape Libya by the sea in September died or disappeared this week – the highest percentage recorded. Seven in 10 were caught and returned by the Libyan coastguard, while only one in 10 made it to Europe.
Libya is a war zone being treated as a "safe country". Holding of elections this year may actually be in doubt, because of the Tripoli situation. There was a ceasefire between Libyan militias last Tuesday, but will long will it hold. The tension is too much.
"Some around the world are arguing that human rights are outdated, that national interest can justify the suppression of individual and collective rights," said Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy chief at the United Nations General Assembly. "We are here today to state the opposite … Human rights are real."
Is the EU being hypocritical whenever they preach about human rights? A better solution ought to be found.
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