Strike the borders. Against the silent massacre of migrants in Libya

14.9.2018, Berlin, Mailand, Genf, London, Den Haag, Bologna, Stockholm, ...

Tomorrow, Friday 14th September, sit-ins and actions, launched by the international network of Eritrean migrants, will take place transnationally to denounce the detention, tortures and suspension of any kind of legality for migrants trapped in the Libyan camps.

The situation has exacerbated in the last weeks due to the armed conflict, endangering even more the life of the hundreds thousands of African and non-African migrants who are hindered from leaving Libya and seek asylum. The Eritrean migrants call for the immediate evacuation of all migrants from Libya and a rapid and direct relocation to safe third countries.

They denounce the convergence of the EU institutions, member States and Libya on policies that disregard even the most basic human rights, with the inspections of the UNHCR being seriously prevented by the outbreak of the armed conflict and in general being unable to really check a highly informal, chaotic and increasingly dramatic situation. But the UN has actually been incapable of stopping migrants from being sold out like slaves in public markets, and no inspection has succeeded in crushing the systematic collaboration between Libyan officers and traffickers, the rapes, the tortures, the abuses, the kidnappings by traffickers and the arbitrary imprisonments by the police.

The present situation is the direct consequence of the EU’s ferocious stance towards migrants in the last years, since it decided to give up any kind of protection for the sake of pushing away migrants from its borders and exploiting those who are inside. Since the infamous deal with Turkey, the EU has decided to openly endorse the illegal and inhuman detention of hundreds thousands of migrants. By declaring arbitrarily what country is “safe” or “unsafe” in order to decide who is entitled to seek asylum – that is, who lives and who dies –, the EU and its States are legitimizing violent and dictatorial regimes abroad. What is happening today in Libya shows how biased and instrumental is this decision, with the consequence that thousands of migrants fleeing from war and violence are kept prisoners and deprived of the possibility to save their lives. When migrants manage to enter Europe the situation they encounter is not better: detention, harassments by the police, harsh labor conditions, uncertainty over the future, constant brutalities and threats. The hands of Europe and its States are covered with the blood of migrants dying on their way and with the sweat and tears of those who are daily put to work for miserable wages for the sake of EU’s profit. The recent escalation of nationalist violence, as in the case of Salvini (Italian Interior Minister), who refused to let boats dock in the Italian ports and declared the rescues of migrants illegal, is not an isolated accident, but rather the expression of a larger Europewide strategy of which migrants pay the price.

We support the actions on Friday and unite in a cry of dismay against the conditions experienced by migrants moving towards Europe in search for a better future. We support the call for the immediate release of all those who are trapped in Lybia in a condition of war and we demand a European residence permit that allows safe entrance and freedom of movement to all migrants, with no distinction of country of origin or status. Nothing will stop migrants from moving and striking the borders: it is time to stand on their side against institutional racism and all those murderous and inhuman policies that treat them as objects to be used, displaced and dismissed.

Initiatives planned for tomorrow in Europe:

Milano, ore 16, Via Vivaio, angolo Monforte

Geneve, ore 16, Palais Wilson

London, 3pm, 10 Furnival Street UNHCR Representative

The Hague, Deen Haag Centraal, ore 11

Berlin, Zimmerstrasse 79/80, UNHCR, 2pm

Bologna, Piazza Re Enzo, 5.30 pm

Stockholm, Mynttorget, k 16.00