JRS Monitors Unrest in Libya
Tags: Jesuit, Jesuit Refugee Service, jesuits, JRS, Libya, Society of Jesus
Jesuit Refugee Service Malta (JRS Malta) is monitoring with mounting concern the reports of hundreds of deaths in Libya in recent days and the reported perils encountered by those seeking to flee to safety.
Witnesses quoted by international media report that pro-democracy protestors were confronted with gunfire. The unrest appears to be spreading from the second largest city Benghazi to the capital Tripoli.
“Unable to obtain the protection of their government, asylum seekers are stuck in Libya, where they are extremely vulnerable to attacks,” said Jesuit Father Joseph Cassar, JRS Malta director. “In the past days we have heard reports of innocent sub-Saharan Africans being beaten, stabbed and even killed, as they are wrongly suspected of being mercenaries hired by Gaddafi to kill the Libyan people.”
Jesuit Father Edgar Busuttil, director of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice in Malta, said in a statement, “The international community must now act justly to stop the massacres and to assist the Libyan people in safeguarding their fundamental human rights.”
JRS Europe is also calling on the EU and its member states “to respect and uphold the rights of all migrants who arrive on European shores” in the wake of upheaval that has prompted thousands of Tunisians and others to cross the Mediterranean. [Jesuits in Malta, JRS Europe]