Thursday, April 14, 2005

Hotel Rwanda cum Hotel Barcelona at Libya

I just finished watching a disturbing movie. I may have been one of the last to see Hotel Rwanda as I missed it at the theaters. Needless to say, it was disturbing. I followed the Rwandan events as they happened. I had suspicions (maybe justified, maybe not) that this was a segment of the population reduction aspirations and that for this reason, little had been done to stop it. Where was "humanitarian intervention" in that situation?

Now, Javier Solana says he is a big believer in humanitarian intervention. He is still numero uno in the Barcelona Process. Disturbing reports are coming out of Amnesty International that maybe the Barcelona Process may not be so humanitarian vis a vis Libya.

Libya has lots of oil (as does Iraq), but I'm sure that never entered anybody's head! (Sure! Sure!, as famous old Detroit trial lawyer John D. O'Connell would say as he did so often on successfully impeaching a witness and taking explanations after being trapped in their lies.)

Since Javier Solana is in the current process of making deals with Israel, maybe it would well behoove them to look carefully to Libya, to see how their rights might or might not be protected under a sort of Barcelona protectorate.

'Nuf said. I'm retiring for the night. If you want to read the Amnesty International warnings for yourself, click on the link below -- nah, since its a 'press release' rather than a copyrighted story, I'll reprint it here for you below. The link is embodied at the end of the body of the story.

AI Index: MDE 19/044/2005 (Public)
News Service No: 087
12 April 2005
EU-Libya cooperation: No safeguards for refugees
(Brussels, 12 April 2005) Amnesty International has today issued a briefing paper on the deplorable treatment of refugees and illegal immigrants in Libya in the lead up to this week's discussion at EU level about enhancing co-operation with Libya on illegal immigration.
"Immigration Cooperation with Libya: The Human Rights Perspective. Amnesty International briefing ahead of the Justice and Home Affairs Council, 14 April 2005" is available on from 09.00 12 April.
Amnesty International understands EU JHA ministers will discuss future co-operation with Libya on illegal immigration on the basis of a report by the European Commission following a mission to the country late last year. Amnesty International has called for this report to be made public to allow a dialogue involving all relevant actors including the European Parliament.
"The European Union must recognize that in Libya, there is effectively no guarantee of refugee rights. Libya does not allow the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to operate properly in the country and people forcibly returned to Libya from Europe risk degrading detention conditions and further expulsion to countries where they may face imprisonment and torture," Dick Oosting, Director of Amnesty International's EU Office said.

"In this context, deportations of 'irregular migrants' to Libya as carried out repeatedly by EU Member States, in particular by Italy and Malta, should be immediately halted as these removals may be in breach of Member States' obligations under international law," he said.
In its briefing paper, Amnesty International outlines its concerns about the EU and its Member States developing "ad hoc" cooperation mechanisms with Libya on illegal immigration without adequate human rights safeguards.

"This would in fact undermine the credibility of the EU's own 'Barcelona Process' with Mediterranean countries which, among other things, aims to enhance the respect for human rights throughout the region," Dick Oosting warned. "If the EU is to engage with Libya, the dialogue and cooperation at EU level should, as a minimum, include clear human rights conditionality."

For further comment/background and interviews:
Amnesty International EU Office (Brussels)
Tel: 32-2-5021499
Fax: 32-2-5025686
Don't forget to write about the conditions facing the Hispanics deported from the USA with their equally if not more stringent anti-immigration policies of your country. You only have to look at a map to see that Europe could become overwhelmed by large numbers of immigrants seeking better conditions than those they find in their own poor countries, whereas the much larger less densely populated USA is much less vulnerable because the poor Latin America to the south is also relatively underpopulated, and America is geographically isolated from the greater part of the world which is in the Euro-Asian-African continent.
SqueakBox, by chance did you happen to miss these lines - returned to Libya from Europe risk degrading detention conditions and further expulsion to countries where they may face imprisonment and torture," Dick Oosting, Director of Amnesty International's EU Office said.

It seems to me that that Solana and the other EU establishment figures knows of these things and yet choose to do so while mouthing "respect for human rights".

By the way, do you know if Mexico and Honduras are into torturing returnees who have violated US immigration law? It seems you are comparing the two situations.
While I don't like the way we treat immigrants -- I personally subscribe to the Biblical injunction that "you were once a stranger in a strange land, therefore you are to treat the stranger among you with kindness"; HOWEVER,I don't think the Mexico - Libyan situations are analogous.
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