Eritreans across Europe call on UN to aid Libyan refugees

2018-09-14 20:35:08 Written by  Martin Plaut Published in English Articles Read 53 times

Eritrean community demonstrates outside UNHCR over refugees in Libya

Eritreans from Italy, Germany, Sweden, Italy and Holland came together to call on the UN refugee agency to step up its efforts in Libya.

In London the community gathered outside the offices of the UNHCR – chanting slogans and holding up the placards they had brought.

Eritrean community demonstrates outside UNHCR over refugees in Libya

Young and old, they stood in solidarity with their countrymen and women who are trapped in the hell of Libyan detention centres.

Eritrean community demonstrates outside UNHCR over refugees in Libya

More than 1,000 Eritreans are currently held in the detention centres. Some suffering from gunshot wounds; women facing the daily threat of rape; children suffering from hunger and fear.

A delegation led by Sham Gabriel went into the UNHCR London headquarters.

Eritrean community demonstrates outside UNHCR over refugees in Libya - Sham Gabriel speaking

“We met Michael Saltmarsh, the UNHCR’s representative,” Sham reports to the demonstrators. “We asked the organisation to set up its efforts. Refugees must be evacuated to Niger or other countries. But Niger has become a bottleneck.”

“European powers are not fulfilling the pledges they made to assist: they have a responsibility to protect the lives of these extremely vulnerable people.”

Sham explained that Mr Saltmarsh promised to take their concerns to the UNHCR High Commissioner – and to let the community have his reply.

“It is vital that the UN gains access to the detention centres and those being returned from the sea to Libya must be registered by the UNHCR,” Sham said.

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