During her recent visit to Libya, the Commissioner for External Relations, Benita Ferrero Waldner, offered the Libyan authorities EUR 20 million from EU funds to help combat illegal immigration. She also said that this agreement with Libya would strengthen relations between the European Union and Libya and would help consolidate Libya’s position in the eyes of the international community.
Libya still does not have any laws on right to asylum, it imprisons people accused of political crimes and torture by the police is commonplace. Libya has still not ratified the 1951 Refugee Convention or its Protocol. Thus, the majority of emigrants who arrive in Libya are sent back to their country of origin with no assurances as to their safety. The forced repatriation of refugees is contrary to both Libyan law(1) and international law(2).
Why is the Commission continuing to give financial help to a regime that has no respect for human rights and the rights of refugees in particular?
Why is the Commission interested in consolidating Libya in the eyes of the international community when Libya ignores the EU’s recommendations, refusing to be fully involved in the Euro-Mediterranean partnership?