Asylum Seekers in Libya at High Risk

Some 2000 Eritrean asylum seekers stranded in Libya have made a desperate appeal for help to the Catholic Church in Tripoli. Bishop Giovanni Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, has urged the international community to rescue them by providing a way out of Libya to safety.

Statement by Jesuit Refugee Service Malta
on Asylum Seekers in Libya

(Verżjoni bil-Malti aktar ’l isfel)

Some 2000 Eritrean asylum seekers stranded in Libya have made a desperate appeal for help to the Catholic Church in Tripoli. Bishop Giovanni Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, has urged the international community to rescue them by providing a way out of Libya to safety.

As tension escalates in Libya and States rush to evacuate their nationals, sub-Saharan African asylum seekers are all but forgotten. JRS Malta joins its voice to that of the Church in Libya and urges the international community not to forget these asylum seekers who do not have anyone to protect them, least of all their country of origin, which they fled in fear of their life.

“Unable to obtain the protection of their government, asylum seekers are stuck in Libya, where they are extremely vulnerable to attacks,” said Jesuit Fr Joseph Cassar, JRS Malta director. “In the past days we have heard reports of innocent sub-Saharan Africans being beaten, stabbed and even killed, as they are wrongly suspected of being mercenaries hired by Gaddafi to kill the Libyan people.”

JRS Malta therefore earnestly appeals to EU Member States, including Malta, and the rest of the international community to take immediate and concrete action to provide protection to this very vulnerable population by providing resettlement opportunities for them.

While commending Malta’s immediate and effective response to the crisis by facilitating the evacuation of thousands of foreign nationals seeking to leave Libya, we also call upon the Government of Malta to undertake urgent measures, as an extraordinary humanitarian gesture, to offer safe transit to asylum seekers who need to leave Libya and reach a place of refuge.

“It is clear that urgent, multi-lateral action is needed, as Malta cannot do this alone,” Fr Cassar added.


Related Links

The response of the Catholic Church in Libya

Bishop Giovanni Martinelli of Tripoli appeals for evacuation of Eritreans

Bishop Giovanni Martinelli of Tripoli appeals for evacuation of Eritreans (includes reference to a communiqué by the Apostolic Nuncio to Malta and Libya – text in Italian)

Eritrean and Ethiopian community in Italy – updates in Italian and English


 


Stqarrija mis-Servizz tal-Ġiżwiti mar-Refuġjati dwar ir-Refuġjati fil-Libja

Madwar elfejn refuġjat mill-Eritrea li għadhom imwaħħlin il-Libja għamlu appell mqanqal għall-għajnuna lill-Knisja Kattolika fi Tripli. L-Isqof Giovanni Martinelli, Vigarju Appostoliku fi Tripli, ħeġġeġ lill-komunità internazzjonali biex issalvahom billi tipprovdilhom mod kif joħorġu mil-Libja.

Waqt li tiżdied t-tensjoni fil-Libja u l-pajjiżi jħaffu biex joħorġu ċ-ċittadini tagħhom, persuni minn pajjiżi ’l isfel mis-Sahara li qed ifittxu l-ażil, huma minsija għalkollox. Is-Servizz tal-Ġiżwiti mar-Refuġjati iżid leħnu ma’ dak tal-Knisja fil-Libja u jħeġġeġ il-komunità internazzjonali biex ma tinsiex lil dawn ir-refuġjati li m’għandhom lil ħadd min jipproteġihom, u żgur mhux il-gvern tal-pajjiż tal-oriġini tagħhom li minnu ħarbu.

“Mingħajr il-protezzjoni tal-gvern tagħhom, dawn il-persuni li qed ifittxu l-ażil jinsabu mwaħħlin il-Libja, fejn huma esposti għall-attakki,” qal il-Ġiżwita Fr Joseph Cassar, direttur tal-JRS Malta. “Matul dawn l-aħħar ġranet smajna b’diversi rapporti ta’ Afrikani innoċenti, mill-pajjiżi ’l isfel mis-Sahara, li sfaw msawta, midruba jew saħansitra maqtula, għax ħasbuhom merċenarji mħallsa minn Gaddafi biex joqtlu n-nies Libjani.”

Is-Servizz tal-Ġiżwiti mar-Refuġjati għalhekk jappella lill-Istati Membri tal-Unjoni Ewropea, inkluża Malta, u lill-bqija tal-komunità internazzjonali biex jieħdu azzjoni konkreta u immedjata sabiex jipprovdu l-protezzjoni lil din il-popolazzjoni vulnerabbli ħafna billi jittrasferuhom fi Stati differenti tal-Unjoni Ewropea u f’pajjiżi oħrajn.

Waqt li nfaħħru t-tweġiba immedjata u effettiva ta’ Malta għal din il-kriżi bl-għajnuna fil-ħruġ ta’ eluf ta’ ċittadini barranin li kienu qed jippruvaw iħallu l-Libja, nitolbu lill-Gvern ta’ Malta biex jieħu miżuri urġenti, bħala ġest umanitarju straordinarju, sabiex joffri l-possibilità ta’ transitu sikur lil dawk ir-refuġjati li għandhom bżonn joħorġu mil-Libja biex jaslu f’post ta’ kenn.

“M’ghandniex xi ngħidu, hemm bżonn ta’ azzjoni multi-laterali, għax Malta ma tistax tidħol għal din il-biċċa xogħol waħedha,” qal Fr Cassar.

 

Ara wkoll:

It-tweġiba tal-Knisja Kattolika fil-Libja

L-Isqof Giovanni Martinelli ta’ Tripli jappella għall-evakwazzjoni tal-Eritrej

L-Isqof Giovanni Martinelli ta’ Tripli jappella għall-evakwazzjoni tal-Eritrej (bit-Taljan, b’riferiment għal komunikat tan-Nunzju Appostoliku għal Malta u l-Libja)

Aġġornamenti mill-komunità tal-Eritrej u l-Etjopjani fl-Italja – bit-Taljan u bl-Ingliż


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