International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR)
Joint press release
Colonel Qaddhafi forces enrollment of African migrants in his army
Paris, Thursday March 10 – The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its affiliate member the Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR) are alarmed that Colonel Qaddhafi has embarked since the beginning of the hostilities, on February 17, 2011, on an active policy of rounding up African migrants (estimated nearly at 1.1 Million) to force them to fight in the ranks of Libyan troops loyal to him.
Thousands of migrants would have been forced to join the army and are being used as front line fighters or simple human shield for Libyan soldiers in street fights as happened in the city of Zawiya on March 6, 2011. Eyewitness reported a score of Africans seen marching on the front line to protect the advancing Libyan troops loyal to Colonel Qaddhafi and most of the casualties were regrettably in their ranks.
“The life of African migrants in Libya is under real threat. The Security Council, which has the responsibility of maintaining international peace and security and the protection of civilian population, must urgently interfere with the Government of Libya to immediately stop such practice that is, not only immoral, but also violates the basic migrant’s rights as guaranteed by international law” declared Sliman Bouchuiguir, secretary General of LLHR.
“The Security Council should also insist that all those forced into the army are immediately released and proper compensation is duly made for the all the moral and physical suffering they underwent. We also call to strengthen the legal and physical protection of migrants through the orderly repatriation of those migrants who do not wish to stay in Libya” he added.
FIDH President, Souhayr Belhassen, further expressed her “deep concern at the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Libya. We call on the Security Council to ensure prompt and effective assistance to hospitals which suffer from severe shortages of medicines and medical personnel throughout Eastern Libya”.
“Both our organizations repeat their call for a No-Fly zone to be decreed over Libya in order to guarantee the protection of the civilian population”, she added.
Karine Appy: +33 1 43 55 14 12 / +33 6 48 05 91 57
Arthur Manet: +33 1 43 55 90 19 / +33 6 72 28 42 94