Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Alarming human rights situation at Libyan borders
The situation on Libya's border with Tunisia has reached crisis point, as tens of thousands of foreigners flee unrest in the country, the UN says. Aid workers seem unable to cope, with new refugees pouring in as quickly as others cross over, say correspondents. A spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Melissa Fleming, said 70,000-75,000 people have fled to Tunisia since violence began in Libya on 20 February.
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi seems to attempt to regain control of rebel areas in western Libya.
Witnesses said pro-Gaddafi forces tried to retake the western cities of Zawiya, Misrata and Nalut on Monday but were repulsed by rebels helped by defecting army units. The rebels said they had killed eight pro-Gaddafi militia, but there were no opposition fatalities. There has been no word from the government on casualties.
Gaddafi gave an interview in the capital Tripoli for the BBC, ABC, and the Sunday Times newspaper. He accused Western countries of abandoning Libya and said that they had no morals and wanted to colonise the country.When asked whether he would resign, he said he could not step down as he did not have an official position - and insisted that the power in the country was with the people.
Concerning the human righjts sityuation on the borfders an Egyptian friend wrote me this:
Urgent: Does anyone have contacts for human rights lawyers who work on Palestinian issues in
Egypt? There is a large group of Palestinians with the refugee ID (i.e. no national identification
nor al iqama al masreya) stuck at the border in Salloum, unable to enter Egypt and unable to
return to Libya. Many of them are young children.
(Please email to this blog if you have any contacts).