In October 2021 – after brutal raids in a quarter of Tripoli – refugees and migrants started an amazing period of self-organized resistance in Libya. Against their permanent deprivation of rights and with the central demand for „evacuation now“ they organized a sit-in in front of the local headquarter of UNHCR. The protesters published a manifesto with seven main demands (see below).
On their website they report about the daily struggle. The protest continued for more than three months, but was evicted in the beginning of January 2022. Most of the participants have been detained afterwards. But the base of the protest is ongoing, until today the demands have been brought again and again into the public, for example with online press-conferences and on twitter.
Similar protests – also directed to the UNHCR with the demand of evacuations – developed within last months in Tunisia. Solidarity groups for the refugees in Libya and Tunisia have been built to amplify their voices and to organize concrete material support. It is an ongoing challenge to interconnect the various struggles and to intensify supportive activities in order to increase pressure to the EU and to UNHCR to follow the demands of the refugees.
- Evacuations to lands of safety where our rights will be protected and respected.
- Justice and equality among refugees and asylum seekers who are registered with the UNHCR in Libya.
- The abolition of funding the Libyan coast guards who have constantly and forcibly intercepted refugees fleeing the Libyan hell and brought them to Libya where all atrocities befall them.
- The closure of all detention centers across Libya, which are fully funded by the Italian and European union authorities.
- The authorities should bring the perpetrators to justice who have shot and killed our brothers and sisters both in and out of the detention centers.
- The Libyan authorities to stop arbitrarily detaining persons of concern to the office of UNHCR.
- To call on Libya to sign and ratify the constitution of the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention.