Reduced to slavery because they are black

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This is the beginning of the 21st century. But, for those African migrants who are thrown on the roads of exile because of extreme poverty, wars or political oppression, it seems that we have returned to the times when their ancestors were sold as slaves across the Sahara.

Indeed a crime against humanity has been taking place from the Sinai to the Libyan Desert for years. Human beings are beaten, sometimes to death, blackmailed, raped, sequestrated and sold as slaves.

A few days ago, in Southern Libya cameras filmed pictures which were beyond belief or which we used to see in old pictures representing scenes of the past: the selling of Blacks in slave markets. It is as if the slave routes through Koufra or Barqa were reopened.

We are neither naïve nor ignorant. We know, probably by not being indignant enough, that more than 40 million human beings around the world live in situation similar to slavery. We also know about the torture migrants experience when in the hands of those smugglers and their accomplices.

But the experience of sub-Saharan migrants in Libya repulses us for three reasons:

First, Libya is a country where the representatives of the state carry out the worst tortures in unspeakable concentration camps, a reality which is an offence to the conception of the minimum respect due to human beings.

Then, it is a country which is a member of several international or regional organisations which have so far been extremely inactive: the UN whose only response is indignation, the African Union, the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Last of all, it is also a country which the European Union has chosen as a partner to secure the borders of Southern Europe for the following reasons, which it publicly assumed: that is to prevent migrants from setting foot on the ‘Old continent’ to find refuge.

With regard to the atrocities the various NGO were informed about, how could the European Union hope to establish a partnership with Libya, similar to the one disgracefully concluded with Turkey?

How can the European Union accept that Italy – which acts to a certain extent as a delegate for the other member countries of the Union – finance local militia involved in the above described horrors?

How can the European Union continue to concentrate its attention on the return of migrants to Southern Libya when the most urgent thing to do is to stop a crime against humanity? The moral - and legal?

–  Responsibility of the European Union for this nightmare more than a simple statement: it is a shameful practice which we refuse to allow to be treated with the same soothing and illusory words “improving the conditions of detention”. You cannot improve the slave trade and the concentration camps. You combat them until they disappear.

That is why in this appeal, which is also addressed to the African Governments, we demand that the European Union and its Members States indicate without delay the measures they intend to take in order to stop the suffering of the Blacks who seem to have been taken back to the tragic time of the slave trade.

They have already signed and you?

Dominique SOPO, Audrey PULVAR, Serge ROMANA, Baki YOUSSOUFOU, Sonia ROLLAND, Harry ROSELMACK, Viviane ROLLE ROMANA, Omar SY, Oumou SANGARE, Abdourahmane SECK, Cheick Tidiane SECK, Claudy SIAR, Ibrahim SOREL, Lilian, THURAM,  Yannick NOAH, IMANY, Rachel KOMBELA, Louis-Georges TIN, Hélène SY, Mouloud ACHOUR, Rachid AHRAB, Jean-Christophe RUFIN, Fode Sanikayi KOUYATE,  Cédric KALONJI, Inna KARANTA, Mahamadou Lamine SAGNA, Rodney SAINT-ELOI, Bertrand AMOUSSOU, Abdennour BIDAR, Guillaume BINET, Pascal BLANCHARD, Rachid BOUCHAREB, Stomy BUGSY, Ali REBEIHI, Firmine RICHARD, Christophe ROBERT, Mario CANONGE, Clémentine CELARIE, Diagne CHANEL, Audrey CHAUVEAU, François CLUZET, Daniel DALIN, Laurent DESMARD, Jacob DESVARIEUX, Manu DI BANGO, Karfa Sira DIALLO, Emilienne SAME, Arsene TUNGALI, Doudou DIENE, Jérôme DINDAR, Pape DIOUF, Alexandre DRUBIGNY, Alain DUPOUY, Fred EBOKO, Tiken Jah FAKOLY, Dominique FARRUGIA, Liévin FELIHO, Vincent FELTESSE, Jacky MAMOU,  Lionel GAUTHIER, François GEMENNE, José Manuel GONCALVES, Emmanuel GORDIEN, Faïza GUENE, Cheikh FALL, Steevy GUSTAVE, Mémona HINTERMANN, Paulin J.HOUNTONDJI, Lucien JEAN-BAPTISTE, JR, Almamy KALOKO, Paul. KANANURA, Oumy Regina SAMBOU, Fatou BARRY, Benjamin ABTAN, Salif KEÏTA, Thierry KUHN, Philippe LACHEAU, Francis LALOUPO, Luc LAVENTURE, Philippe LAVIL, Benaouda LEBDAI, Chantal LOÏAL, Nadine MACHIKOU, Jacques MARTIAL, Achille MBEMBE, Danielle MERIAN, Etienne MINOUNGOU, MOKOBE, Madeleine MUKAMABANO, Gueye BAMBA, Bonaventure MVE ONDO, NAGUI, Olivier NAKACHE, Pap NDIAYE, Simon NJAMI, Euzhan PALCY, Franck PAPAZIAN, PASSI, José PENTROSCOPE, Fodé SYLLA, Sami TCHAK,  Soraya TLATLI, Martial ZE BELINGA, France ZOBDA, Serge Katembera RHUKUZAGE, Angélique KIDJO, Ebrima SALL, Séverine KODJO-GRANDVAUX, Alain MABANCKOU, Victoire JASMIN, Mariann MATHEUS, Souleymane CISSOKHO, Aïcha ELBASRI, Sani AYOUBA, Patrick CHAMOISEAU, Sacha GHOZLAN, Olivier ROGEZ, Abdoul Karim GOZA, Marie-Roger BILOA, Mory KANTE, Jean-Claude-Félix TICHAYA, Tayeb BENABDERRRAHMANE, Hapsatou SY, Loïc CELARIE, Sandrine QUENET, Eric POUPET, Gilles LELLOUCHE Jean-Bernard OUEDRAOGO Greg GERMAIN, Yann MOIX, Abdelkerim Yacoub KOUDOUGOUMI, Luc BERILLE

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