Today in a press conference the Libyan refugee group "Hamburg in Lampedusa" issued the demand for a political solution and the recognition of their rights:
Open letter to the regional Government of Hamburg and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany
We, the war refugees from Libya, demand:
The right of residence according to § 23 „Right of Residence“ or another juridical regulation that enables the right of residence
§ 23 is one of those juridical regulations that can be brought into practise to enable a permanent right of residence for war refugees. Other juridical regulations on the level of regional, federal or European law as well allow a permanent right of resistance for war refugees.
We invite the regional government of Hamburg to start activities to support this demand. In the name of human rights as well as humanitarian and political responsibility it is the only serious way to find a solution, if the regional government acts on all levels to bring forward the implementation of one of these regulations.
§ 23 Grant of the right of residence by the superior regional authorities; admittance according to extraordinary political interests
(1) The superior regional authorities may command the right of residence to a special group of foreigners from a certain country according to international law or due to humanitarian aspects under respect of the political interests of the Federal Republic of Germany. (...) To ensure an equivalent regulation in all federal states this command needs to be accepted by the Interior Ministry.
(2) The Interior Ministry is enabled to command the authorities for Migration and Refugees to grant the right of residence to a special group of foreigners from a certain country in accordance with the superior authorities of the federal states, to protect political interests of the Federal Republic of Germany. (…) Those who are affected by this regulation got the right to achieve a residence permit or a settlement permit. (...) The residence permit is a work permit in the same time.
We are more than 300 war refugees from Libya and have been living on the streets of Hamburg since the middle of April. Roundabout 55000 refugees coming from Libya survived the forced escape and finally arrived at the island of Lampedusa after crossing the Mediterranean Sea.
We are all victims of a war that had been escalated by NATO to a level that only gave us the possibility to flee because of human rights abuses, war crimes, bombardments and massacres. Most of us are born in sub-Saharan countries and found shelter in Libya after we had been fleeing because of political reasons or the de stability in our home countries. In Libya we had work that provided ourselves, our families and communities in our home countries.
Information about the situation in Libya after the beginning of the war:
http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/gewalt-in-libyen-gaddafis-schwarze-soeldner-alles-nur-propaganda-1.1138509 und http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/menschenrechtsbericht-amnesty-wirft-libyschen-milizen-toedliche-folter-vor-a-815634.html und
We were not involved in the political and military conflict. We were part of those civilians, NATO and EU were pretending to protect through their intervention. We lost everything we had built up in Libya and all our savings. We have seen many people dying in the war and on the way across the Mediterranean Sea.
We lived spread over diverse facilities in Italy for roundabout two years – in mass camps with thousands of people as well as in hotels which had been rent by the authorities or on the streets. Our living conditions were extremely dangerous for health and life. Sickness and traumata could not be treated in an adequate way. New traumata were caused through abuse and mistreatment, denied medical care, a lack of food, as well as oppression and ignorance of the authorities.
In winter 2012/13 we were given identification papers witch guaranteed us a humanitarian status. In the same time we were set on the street and prompted and forced to leave Italy in the direction of northern Europe. The authorities gave some of us up to 500 Euro. We were told that nothing could be done for us, because there was no work or perspective of providing us. Some were threatened with violence or to be put into prison, if they would not leave the country. Under the administration of the Italian authorities our situation was degrading. After the closure of the camps and the ending of the accommodation nothing was left for us only to die slowly or quickly in the streets.
The situation and the devastating circumstances in which refugees lived in Italy is described in an expertise by the German NGO borderline e.V., written by Judith Gleitze in order of the administration court Braunschweig. Since 2010 200 German administration courts decided that deportations to Italy are against the law because every asylum seeker or person that is in need of protection is endangered to be treated in a humiliating and inhuman way. http://www.borderline-europe.de/sites/default/files/readingtips/2012_12_02_Gutachten_Antworten_finale_anonym.pdf
This is the reason why we came to Hamburg. After the so called winter program we are facing a dangerous and perilous situation again, because we are forced to live on the streets.
We started to organize in the group „Lampedusa in Hamburg“, to be able to achieve our rights. We are victims of a war in which several European states were involved. We are victims of an European refugee policy, that is not in tune with international and European human rights- and refugee conventions.
All EU member states must take responsibility for the roundabout 55000 civilians that had been escaping from Libya to Europe during the war. Italy gave a signal to show its state of emergency with its practise against us refugees. We are not willing to be the cue ball of an inhuman policy.
We, those who survived the war, and formed the group „Lampedusa in Hamburg“, are not willing to let people push us from one disaster into another, because this is no perspective for a living. Since we went into public in May 2013, we witnessed a great wave of solidarity. Many people and actors support our demands.
A permanent right of residence shall be granted to us, according to international law and humanitarian aspects. § 23or any other regulation on regional, federal or European level, that grants a special status to war refugees, can be set into practise therefore. We address the Government of Hamburg once again with this concrete appeal to enable it to preserve the human rights and to follow its duty to protect democratic values.
„Lampedusa in Hamburg“
Affo Tchassei: 0176-717 402 36
Anane Kofi Mark: 0152-170 045 94
Asuquo Udo: 0152 146 725 37