Not many people in the West can find Libya on the map. The geopolitical importance of this North African nation is generally not well understood, and many just figure it’s none of our business, whatever goes on there.
This is less true than it seems. In 2011, the west, led by the US, UK and France, toppled the late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, ‘to make Libya freer, transparent, democratic and allow Libyans to freely express themselves without the shackles of the Gaddafi regime’.
“12 years after being freed from Gaddafi, [Libya] still does not have a constitution, lacks basic freedoms and its many security apparatus still operate with a greater degree of impunity.
In fact, many people would confess to the fact that. when it comes to personal freedom, freedom of expression and rule of law, the country now is worse than it was over a decade ago.”
Worse still – Libya now has solidified itself as a human trafficking hub and the scourge of slavery is leaving its mark smack in the 21st century.
And the west – in this instance the European Union – keeps feeding the trafficking machine:
“EU funding is facilitating the commission of abuses against migrants in Libya who are being systematically tortured and forced into sexual slavery.
The warning came out of a probe by the United Nations which said that the European Union had given support to organizations that have ‘aided and abetted the commission of the crimes.’
The investigation found that there were grounds to believe that migrants have been targeted by state security forces and armed militia groups in detention centers under the control of Libya’s Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration (DCMI) and Libya’s coast guard.
‘These entities receive technical, logistic and monetary support from the European Union and its member states for the interception and return of migrants,” said the UN Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya’s chairman, Mohamed Auajjar.”
Illegal migrants, mostly from African nations, who seek to cross over the Mediterranean into Europe, are preyed upon, and “there are reasonable grounds to believe that sexual slavery, a crime against humanity, was committed against migrants”.
“The report came in the middle of a crackdown by the country’s Internal Security Agency (ISA) against people and organisations it accuses of ‘spreading’ Christianity and encouraging ‘young Libyans’ to become Christians – an apostasy crime, punishable by death in Libya.
Between 25 March and this week, ISA’s website and its Twitter account published a number of videos of people confessing to committing apostasy. ISA, in a statement, accused a US based religious organization named ‘Assemblies of God’ of operating illegally in Libya and spreading Christianity in the predominantly Muslim country.”