Save Samia: Civil Campaign to Rescue Yemeni Girl Kidnapped South of Tripoli – Al Marsad

The Libyan Crimes Watch Organisation together with 42 other organizations issued a joint statement named “Save Samia,” a Yemeni girl who was kidnapped in the south of the capital, Tripoli.

(LIBYA, 20 June 2021) – The statement confirmed that Samia, a minor girl who has been living in Libya with her mother since the beginning of 2017, and was among those registered and covered by the protection of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), was kidnapped on 11 June 2019.

GUNMEN WEARING MILITARY UNIFORMS KIDNAPPED SAMIA

The statement said that the kidnapping operation was carried out in the Karimiya area in the south of the capital Tripoli, when Samia and her mother were trying to sell some products. An eyewitnesses confirmed that gunmen in military uniforms took her in a car to an unknown location. Her mother filed a complaint at a security center near the scene of the kidnapping.

The statement said no comment from the security authorities has been issued since and none of them had contacted the victim’s mother. Samia’s mother accused the UNHCR and UNICEF, which is concerned with the protection of children, of negligence. She said they did nothing after her daughter was kidnapped in early 2019, despite knowledge by both the UNHCR and UNICED of Samia’s location and status.

The statement added that both organisations did not provide any assistance or measures to protect her, not even changing the place of residence and her daughter in the old city in the center of the capital, Tripoli. The statement also noted that that local organizations issued many warnings to the UN, the latest of which was a statement signed by 30 Libyan organizations and associations on 11January.

INACTION FROM UNHCR AND UNICEF 

According to the statement, organizations and associations had previously also condemned medical negligence that killed a Somali asylum seeker and had called for an investigation into the incident, as no statement or causes were issued by the UNHCR, who did not take any protective measures for minors and those registered with them.

The statement said the UNHCR did not take any action, despite the fact that many asylum seekers were subjected to attacks, such as harassment and continuous kidnapping. The statement said, “today, Samia and tomorrow the fate of the rest is unknown.”

Libyan organizations and associations that signed this statement affirmed a number of principles that need to be followed by the relevant authorities. They stressed the responsibility of the Libyan authorities, first and foremost, and whose role is to protect everyone present on its territory, and they called on the High Commissioner for Refugees to bear responsibility for not taking any real measures to protect Samia before or report its inability to do so in order to allow intervention by other parties.

GNU AUTHORITIES URGED TO ACT

The statement held also UNICEF responsible, which it says knew well the location of the victim. She was not in a detention center, but rather in a place accessible for all these years. They also called on the Prime Minister of the interim Government of National Unity (GNU), Abdul Hamid al-Dbaiba, and the Minister of Interior, Khaled al-Tijani, to quickly look into cases of detention of minors.

The statement emphasised that children and women should not be detained with adults, and that men should stop being responsible for guarding women. They called on the European Union mission to open a comprehensive investigation into the protection offices and the role of the international organizations that support them in general.

The 43 signatory organizations and associations called on Jean-Paul Cavalieri, head of the UNHCR mission in Libya, to pay attention to the cadres working in its offices in Tunis and Tripoli, and to open an investigation into the allegations and accusations levelled against them.

Organisations that signed the joint statement include the following:

Libyan Crime Watch Organization in Britain
Beladi Foundation for Human Rights in Sabratha
Ihqaq Organization for the Sustainable Development of Women and Child Rights in Tripoli
Libyan Organization for Human Rights in Benghazi
Libya Organization for Cultural Development
Libyan Organization for Peace, Care and Relief
Libyan Network for the Protection of Child Rights
Al-Bariq Organization for Child Rights in Tripoli
Al-Salam Organization Against Violence for Human Rights
Unity of the Homeland Organization in Misrata
Human Rights Without Chains in Benghazi
Tabbini Organization for Human Rights in Nalut
Al Khair Foundation for Relief and Humanitarian Works in Tripoli
Libyan Youth Association for Social and Voluntary Work
Free Press Foundation in Sabratha
Al-Khair Association for Persons with Disabilities in Sabratha
Basmat Amal Association for Autistic Children in Sabratha
Arab International Organization for Women’s Rights in Tripoli
People for People to Support Youth Organization
March 21 Organization for Child Rights
Step by Step Organization for the Rule of Law and Human Rights in Sebha
Sheraa Association to Combat AIDS and Drugs in Daraj
Youth Organization in Daraj
Darj Youth Organization in Daraj
Safety Organization against Racial Discrimination
Women’s Wisdom for Women and Culture Organization
Libyan Organization for Human Rights in Sabratha
Thought Pioneers Organization in Daraj
Al-Tbyan Association for Human Rights in Daraj
Tuareg Youth Organization for Dialogue and Debate in Sebha
Tamoust Cultural and Social Association in Sebha
Blue Eye Association for People with Special Needs in Jadu
Springs of the Mountain Association for Charity and Development in Haraba
Libyan Organization for Cultural and Democratic Exchange
Solidarity Organization for Human Rights in Tripoli
Al-Naseer Organization for Human Rights in Tripoli
Zikra Association for the Care of Children with Special Needs in Sebha
Association of Families of the Missing, Detained and Affected in Tawergha
Libya Giving Organization in Tripoli
Transit Foundation for Migrant Assistance and Humanitarian Services
Badir Foundation for Charity and Development

© ALMARSAD ENGLISH (2021)