The International Humanitarian Law Center and Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor issued a warning to both Libya and Algeria, regarding the consequences of continuing to use brute military force, cruel treatment, or intentional neglect while dealing with the African Migrants on their lands, and on their borders, which is a blatant violation of human rights.
A joint statement issued by the two organizations on Monday states that in the time that many African migrants are being targeted for killings and torture in some Libyan regions, hundreds of them are being forcibly deported from Algerian into the desert without water or food, and are left for dead or to be used by human trafficking groups and smugglers.
The illegal immigration phenomenon has represented a growing human and security crises for many countries in the recent years; however, that cannot in any way justify the cruel procedures and circumstances migrants are put through in Libya and Algeria, especially in border cities, where their dignity is violated to the extreme.
A vehicle carrying illegal immigrants east of Al-Kurfa city, in the south-east of Libya, dating the 14th of the current May; being bombed by an airplane –the residence say belonging to the Egyptian authorities- resulting in the injury of 8 people carrying Eritrean nationality –one of them in critical condition until now, and are receiving treatment in Al-Kufra general hospital, which lacks the simplest medical and humanitarian services. and the two organizations clarify that this targeting is part of continuous migrant targeting operations by planes in Al-Kufra area –which is on the Libyan border with Egypt and Sudan- for allegedly security reasons.
Many migrants are subjected to unjustified apprehension and forced detainment, and tens of them are pushed to fight as mercenaries for money in Sabha city in east Libya, which has been facing armed conflict for over a month between tribal groups. The organizations point to reports indicating that many of Libyan Security Elements are responsible, in one way or another, for the torture, detainment, and inhumane treatment of migrants in housing or detention centers.
In his deposition, “Co Frank” (26 years old), from Ghana, who had entered Libya illegally seeking work in one of the northern cities of Libya, says: “I was detained by an armed group in the Libyan city Obary, for 3 weeks, in a small room that had 30 African people in it; with no food or water”.
And “Daba Ado” (23 years old) mentions that he was tortured with a sharp artifact that caused him mutilations in his body, and described that the treatment of (animals) is still better than what he faced in Libya.
An Ethiopian woman in a testimony to the organizations that she was physically assaulted more than once by smuggler during her entry to Libya, and even after her detention by Libya’s illegal immigration control unit in official shelters, allegedly, which was referred to in many unofficial reports which calls for an investigation of these incidents.
As for Algeria, the Euro-Mediterranean mentions that it had recorded a distinct rise in the deportation and eviction rates since the second half of last year, and first few months of the current (2018), where authorities are deporting African immigrants incoming from the southern desert, especially from Niger, Cameron, Guinea, Nigeria and Mali.
The Euro-Mediterranean says the problem lies in that most deportation operations are mass exoduses, without any real case-by-case examinations. Wherein half of the deported at least didn’t have their passports checked before their deportation, and in many cases, the migrants were arrested in their workplaces or in the streets, and were immediately deported without being allowed to even get their belongings or passports.
The migrants say that they were deported in a humiliating fashion, where they were held first in military bases in tragic circumstances, with no bed and very little food for several days; and some were humiliated, and verbally and physically abused by the security forces. Then they were transported in large and stuffed trucks for distances reaching 1900 KM from the Algerian capital to the Nigerian borders, then abandoned, in many cases with their children, roughly 30 KM from the border in the desert, mostly without water or food. The IOM recorded the deaths of many of those in sand dunes without being able to identify them.