Saturday, January 19, 2008

Mass Deportation in Libya

Libya recently announced "a massive expulsion of illegal immigrants." Deportation is common in Libya, yet Amnesty International has protested because mass deportation of people without visas "would violate the rights of potentially hundreds of thousands of people."

Wasn't Sarkozy saying the same thing a few months ago?

San Francisco Chronicle

Libya to Deport Illegal Immigrants

By Khaled Al-Deeb, Associated Press Writer

Friday, January 18, 2008

(01-18) 17:30 PST TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) --

Libya on Friday defended plans to carry out a massive expulsion of illegal immigrants, rejecting criticism from a human rights group that doing so would violate international law.

Labor officials estimate there are 2 million foreigners in Libya and that only 60,000 of them have work permits and legal visas. Most are Africans who sneak through the deserts into Libya from Sudan, Chad and Niger.

On Wednesday, the state news agency Jana said authorities were working on the "immediate deportation of all the illegal foreign residents," quoting a member of the national assembly.

"No resident without a legal visa will be excluded," the report added.

London-based rights group Amnesty International called on Libya "not to implement what appears to be a rushed decision as it would violate the rights of potentially hundreds of thousands of people, including women and children," it said in a statement Friday.

Abdel-Moneim al-Lamoushi, a government spokesman, told The Associated Press Friday that the expulsions are legal according to national law, which requires entry and exit visas for foreigners, and he called the decision "final and not to be reconsidered."

"Libyan tolerance was abused by those immigrants that have been using Libya as a passage to Europe and put Libya in a critical situation in front of the international community," al-Lamoushi said.

Libya has regularly deported refugees and asylum-seekers in recent years and routinely expels migrants, Amnesty said.

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