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"Don't Let Refugees Die in Libya" protest

Sat 18 Jan 2020, from 12.30pm, city centre

You may or may not be aware that there are currently thousands of refugees and migrants stranded in horrendous detention centres in Libya facing an early death, torture, rape or slavery. There are no UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) camps in Libya. Members of the communities in Sheffield who have family and friends in Libya are involved in organising and encouraging others to come to this, as a launch pad to draw attention to the desperate situation of refugees facing danger and abuse in Libya. The North African country has become a magnet for people fleeing persecution in other parts of the continent, as rival gangs exploit their desperation to get into Europe. When they fail, many refugees are detained and/or left to the mercy of rapists, slave traders and torture. This demonstration, supported by South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG), is to draw attention to the plight of these forgotten victims of dictators and war, some of whom have relatives in Sheffield."I was lucky to find safety in the UK before Libya erupted into chaos following the fall of Gaddafi," says march organiser Mihreteab Kidane. "Now, people who've lost their money and nearly their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean find themselves stranded in a country that is incapable of safeguarding them from exploitation and abuse."Some African countries have offered to take a percentage of the estimated 45,000 refugees and asylum seekers stuck in Libya, but Europe is accused of standing by while Libyan border guards, smugglers and warlords sell, kill and torture people who just want a place of safety.Many of those stranded are fleeing war, dictators and torture in countries such as Eritrea, Syria, Yemen, Sudan and Somalia. In Sheffield members of these communities are in daily contact with family, friends and relatives dying in Libya and they're appealing to the British Government and Europe to rescue those who're stranded and give them safe routes to asylum in Europe.To find out more about the situation for refugees in Libya and the role of the UK and other European countries in using Libya as an "external border" see this: SYMAAG Twitter threadMeet 12.30pm at the bottom of The Moor near Moor Market (S1 4PF) to march to Sheffield Town Hall (S1 2HH) for 1pm. All are invited to come, show solidarity and bring banners.SYMAAG

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