Saturday, 3 September 2011

Blacks in Libya Face Danger From Rebels ....Hunting Black People in Libya

Blacks in Libya Face Danger From Rebels


This is a dangerous time to be a black African in Libya.
Throughout the conflict that began in February, rebel forces have been rounding up suspected mercenaries whom, they say, have been hired from neighboring countries like Chad and Niger to fight for Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

But Libya has a black population of its own, and many black migrant workers were trapped in the country when the conflict began. And it seems that plenty of the black Africans captured as mercenaries were never actually involved in the fight.
On Monday, the chairman of the African Union, Jean Ping, said that Libya’s Transitional National Council “seems to confuse black people with mercenaries,” as my colleagues Kareem Fahim and Neil MacFarquhar reported. (There are documented cases of mercenaries from elsewhere, including an ethnic Croatian named Mario who was interviewed in Time magazine last week.)

Amnesty International issued a statement on Tuesday saying that people suspected of fighting for Colonel Qaddafi, “in particular black Libyans and sub-Saharan Africans, are at high risk of abuse” by rebel forces. The statement said that Amnesty representatives were told on recent visits to detention centers in al-Zawiya and Tripoli that one-third to half of the detainees there were from sub-Saharan Africa.

Alex Thomson, a reporter for Channel 4 News in Britain, recounted a frightening scene he witnessed in Tripoli, where men captured by the rebels insisted they were not mercenaries. Those men, he said, appeared to be in serious danger — and they also appeared to be telling the truth.
“Please,” they begged us, “please don’t go. Don’t leave us. They will kill us.”
Another just asked me: “Will they shoot us? Please tell me Sir. Will they shoot us?”
Herded into a corner, a gunman started slapping them. We asked him to stop.

“They are with Gaddafi. We know this. They had guns.”

“Show me the guns,” I said.

No guns arrived. Some of the men crossed themselves, sweating, praying. One began weeping softly.

Mr. Thomson said the men eventually led the rebels to “their women” who were hiding in the bush nearby. Satisfied that they would not have brought their wives to fight in the war, the rebels let them go.

“To be a black African in the wrong part of town at the wrong time,” Mr. Thomson concluded, “is to be in a very frightening place.
Season: Hunting Black People in Libya

Black Star News, Letter To The Editor

August 30, 2011
A writer says rebels commit Ku Klux Klan type atrocities against Black people in Libya

Media habitually tells us that Libyan rebels are noble freedom fighters, struggling aganist a bloodthirsty tyrant. But after all the buckets of half-truths and blatant lies, that news poured on our heads, treating us

viewers like brainless sheep and feeding us half-baked reports that often got disproved the next day, some of us started to look further and investigate.

What they found out, is extremely disturbing. Say, from the very beginning of war we've been hearing reports about "Gaddafi's black mercenaries". We even saw photos and videos of several people that,

supposedly, were these mercenaries. But the whole truth is much more complicated - and scary.

Yes, there indeed are several divisions of black Africans and citizens of Chad in the army of Libya, that is formed on the principle of territorial militia. But they can hardly be considered mercenaries - not
more than French Foreign Legion or non-American citizens in US Army. In general, the status of black men of Libyan army's various units is civil servants.

In a country with 6 million inhabitants, one third are black (the most oppressed group in the country). Would not it be easier for the rebels to call for their solidarity and ask them join the rebel ranks? But not

only black Libyans do not join the rebellion - they flee in terror.
The first wave of reports and evidence of beatings of black Africans began in February and March. The rebels, under the trademark of fighting with the mercenaries from Chad, were slaughtering all black people with no mercy. They even started to post various Youtube videos with their actions filmed
The victim was the Libyan citizen Hisham Mansour, born 22-02-1983. Back in early March, the Human Rights Watch even warned black migrant workers on the need to flee the revolutionary terrain.

"We left behind our friends from Chad. We left behind their bodies. We had 70 or 80 people from Chad working for our company. They cut them dead with pruning shears and axes, attacking them, saying you're providing troops for Gaddafi. The Sudanese, the Chadians were massacred. We saw it ourselves. I am a worker, not a fighter. They took me from my house and [raped] my wife", - a Turkish oilfield worker, who fled Libya, told BBC in February 25.

One of the editors of the Monthly Review, Yoshie Furuhashi, writes:
"The black African workers now live in fear in the territories held by the rebels in Libya. Some have been attacked by mobs, some have been imprisoned and some of their houses and shops have been torched. Many African workers say they felt safer under the regime of Gaddafi".

In March, a reporter from the Daily Mail was in Benghazi and reported:
"Africans I saw ranged from a 20 year old and a late forties, with a grizzled beard. Most wore casual clothes. When they realized that I spoke English erupted in protests. "We did nothing," one told me, before he was silenced. "We are all construction workers in Ghana. Do not harm anyone. "

Another accused, a man in green overalls, showed the paint on their sleeves and said: "This is my job. I do not know how to shoot a gun "

Abdul Nasser, 47, protested: "They lie about us. They took us out of our house at night when we were asleep. " While still complaining, they were taken.
International Business Times published an article on March 2 that says:
"According to reports, over 150 black Africans at least a dozen different countries escaped from Libya by plane and landed at the airport in Nairobi, Kenya, with horrific stories of violence."

"We were attacked by locals who said they were mercenaries who killed people. I mean blacks who refused to see "Julius told Reuters Kiluu, a construction supervisor for 60 years.
Michel Collon with a fact-finding delegation were in Libya in July and when he learned what had happened, he said:
"I met these people during my research in Tripoli. I could talk to some people. They were not "mercenaries," as the rebels and the media tell. Some were dark-skinned Libyans (much of the population is of African type, in fact), others were black civilians from African countries whostayed in Libya for a long time. All support Gaddafi precisely because he opposes to racism and treats them as Arabs and Africans on an equal footing. On the contrary, the rebels in Benghazi are known for their racism, and blacks were victims of terrible systematic atrocities. The paradox is that NATO wants to bring democracy to a section of Al Qaeda and Libyan Ku Klux Klan-type racists".

Here's another footage, with English explanations given.
After the rebels entered Tripoli, numerous reports of black men being killed appeared again. Twitter explodes with rebels' messages about killing "African mercenaries". In the chaos of embattled Tripoli, black people are being simply seized from the streets and taken somewhere openly.

On the photo above we can see that the lying people's hands are tied with plastic handcuffs and their clothes are relatively clean. This means these people were captured not after a fight, but deliberately.

The Colonel was being building good relations with the south of Africa. NATO plan of destabilizing Libya might as well include having the black Africans turning away from this country forever, using contempt and xenophobia of the rebels as a driving force of the persecution. After all, lynching black people simply for being in Africa sounds ridiculous.
But results are pretty much of the same racist kind, and they are not funny at all.
Editor's Note: When the atrocities are finally documented, the corporate media that ignored ethnic cleansing of Black people will bear the stain of culpability. The Wall Street Journal reported on what amounts to ethnic cleansing of Black Libyans by the "Brigade for Purging Slaves, black skin," on June 21, 2011. The newspaper has not revisited that story, which was ignored by major media such as CNN and The New York Times at the time the Journal reported it, probably because they believed it would "tarnish" the NATO-rebels' reputation --small "sacrifice" to protect the corporate-media-favored side in the conflict. So what if the "liberators" had a little bit of KKK in them? The White House and State Department have yet to comment on the reported ethnic cleansing. The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor and publicity hound, Luis Moreno Ocampo, has yet to say a word; such is the devaluation of the lives of Black people globally.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."