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Appeal to stop the deportation of 105 Eritreans from SHurma Prison camp in Libya

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January 8, 2010

President Muammar Gaddafi
Leader of the Great Al Fatah Revolution
President of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Jamahiriya, and Chairperson of the African Union

Subject: Appeal to stop the deportation of 105 Eritreans from SHurma Prison camp in Libya

Your Excellency Brother Leader Muammar Gaddafi,
We write to you on behalf of 105 Eritreans at SHurma Prison camp in Libya to express our grave concerns over their fragile situation and ask for your intervention and support to stop their return and repatriation with out their choice.

We are shocked to learn that the Eritrean embassy in Libya had in the past couple of weeks visited several prison centers in the country with the aim of picking up selected individuals in its ‘wanted’ list. This is just a continuation of the pattern of behavior of the Government of Eritrea to persecute critics and suppress political dissident. Therefore, it is no surprise that it would also want to take these refugees back, if so allowed, as part of its pursuit of suppression of dissent. After all these Eritrean refugees have at least rejected silence and shown their opposition to the violations of human rights and absence of rule of law in Eritrea through their defiance and escape from the merciless hands of the Eritrean Government. 

Your Excellency Brother Leader Muammar Gaddafi,
Now there are very disturbing reports indicating that Libya has agreed to return the above Eritrean refugees to their homeland Eritrea where they fear and risk possible detention and torture. We would want to believe and confirm that this regrettable situation will not happen under your watch. Because, if so, this will violate the pertinent articles and sections of the UN Charter, Convention Against Torture, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the African Charter and many international and regional instruments which the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Jamahiriya has acceded to but it does also negate and defeat your leading initiatives that were put forth in the transformation of Organization of African Union (OAU) to African Union (AU) and the long held tradition of Africans that any one who seeks to get our protection and refugee should be accorded with the same and a good gesture. After all peoples of Africa can only envision the Union of Africa if there is oneness, respect, humanity and love among each other. As your fellow Africans in need these Eritrean refugees deserve water, food, clothing and shelter, not cruelty by their fellows. Because we can not build good will and trust for integration and pave the journey to it by conspiring with leaders who have become enemies of their own people. We ask you to leave a good memory in the minds of Eritreans and other fellow Africans.

It suffices to mention that most of those who were similarly returned to Eritrea from Libya, Malta and Egypt in the past were detained and tortured after their arrival in Eritrea. The incommunicado detention up on arrival and subsequent torture by the Eritrean Government of hundreds of Eritreans is a clear answer as to what awaits the returnees. The Government of Eritrea considers those who defect and those who surrender to the neighboring countries as traitors and has in a number of occasions killed many youngsters who had attempted to cross boarders for fear of persecution. Thousands remain in prison and has been subjected to severe tortures. It is well documented that the Government of Eritrea is one of the few countries with little ratification status of human rights instruments and is one of the top violator of human rights in the world. Furthermore, the Government of Eritrea has never complied with its treaty obligations of reporting and subjecting itself for human rights monitoring on those few it ratified. At this critical point in time those innocent Eritreans, as is the case with other thousands of Eritreans who have been forced to leave their home country for fear of persecution, are seeking protection for their life and ignoring that is a failure to live up to one’s reasonable conscience and sense of humanity.
Your Excellency Brother Leader Muammar Gaddafi,
We do not believe that it would be hard for you to imagine how the above refugees at SHurma Prison camp would be held and treated if they are to be returned. Therefore, we ask you to take cognizance of the severity of the situation and not allow the return of the above Eritrean refugees back to Eritrea.


Eritrean Youth for Change
380 Euclid St. #1
Oakland, CA 94610

And all concerned Eritreans and friends of Eritrea


Eritrean Youth for Change (EYC), California, USA


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