An Italian MP is appealing for an evacuation for migrants who have been protesting for over a month in front of UNHCR headquarters in Tripoli.
"For 38 days, they have been protesting in front of the UNHCR offices in Libya in search of refuge: trapped in a country that has not been safe for years, they are asking to be heard and pleading to be evacuated," wrote the left-wing MP Erasmo Palazzotto on his Facebook page on November 8.
The Sicilian MP, a member of the LeU party (Liberi e Uguali - Free and Equal party) said that there were at least 3,000 people participating in the sit in. "They are sleeping outside. They are exposed to the cold and attacks that in recent weeks have left two dead. Among them are 600 women who, with their children, live in the streets without food or toilet facilities," wrote Palazzotto, thus launching an appeal for the evacuation of migrants in Libya.
Sit-in began after violent roundups
Palazzotto noted that the sit-in was organized after the most recent violent roundups aiming to capture and detain those whose only escape route is by sea. "We do not necessarily want to go to Europe," one of the migrants said, according to Palazzotto.
"We just want to go to a safe country. With the roundups the situation has worsened. There is a need to liberate those arrested, treat those injured, open humanitarian corridors, and evacuate everyone in danger. This situation is the responsibility of Italy and Europe. If necessary, we will die here in the streets," stated the protestors.
'Evacuate them as soon as possible'
"Is it necessary to remind everyone that these are women, men, and children who have survived abuse, torture, extortion, and deportation?" Palazzotto asked.
He said that some people were dismissing these people "by calling them migrants," but that instead they should be seen as people who "daily find themselves victims of a systematic cycle of very serious violations that the most recent report by the Investigating Commission of the High Commissioner for Human Rights called 'crimes against humanity'," he said.
In Libya, Palazotto concluded, "a humanitarian tragedy of historic proportions is underway and we continue to be partially responsible for this tragedy. The people who, by proxy, we have captured and pushed back through the Libyan authorities are desperately trying to make their voices heard.We must listen to them. And evacuate them as soon as possible."