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Libyan Writer Ghoma

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Sunday, 3 February, 2008

WHO 'LL HEAR THEIR SCREAMS:
Immigrants's Life and Death in Libya?

By: Ghoma

        The rounding up of some 2-million + of what Libya defines as "illegals", immigrants who're in the country without residence permit or work-contract. These are to be hunted down, rounded up, and expelled from the country, without much fanfare or due course of the law, to their countries of origin. Most of these unlucky folks were literally enticed, from African countries and elsewhere, to Libya, without entry visas or work permits, to serve as baits in Qaddafi's ingenious decoy set to realize his latest fantasy of U. S. Of Africa. As the international winds have changed directions and the conditions which gave rise to such a delusional scheme were literally sinking by the day, the Colonel's habit of using whatever at hand to put pressure or to signal dismay is back again at work. This time the utter recklessness and the disregard to human rights and dignity in dealing with one of the most intricate issues of our times: Globalization and its aftermath: the movement of people across borders in search of a way to survive. They've been literally lured to the long touted Shangri-La of Qaddafi' s Libya. These folks may not have known of the true conditions in Libya: a true Dante's Inferno for its own daughters and sons; otherwise they'd not have come so close to its flames! Many have certainly been scorched already, but many others are still waiting to be rescued. The sad part of the whole, what's coming to be a true scandal, is not getting the due attention nor stirring as much condemnations from the various political and human rights organizations. Aq true blunder to human life and dignity! So far not enough people and international institutions have raised their voices in defense of immigrants and in condemning such practices of using humans as disposable chips in the game between and among nations. Particularly when Qaddafi has been already a notorious villain, for using host workers to serve his rah-rah ambitious schemes.

        Furthermore, every few days some snippets of news report that one or more of some Godforsaken nationals have been executed in Qaddafi's version of Camelot, his misnomored, the so-called Jamahiriya! The latest victims were two citizens of Ghana. [Nekroma must have been rolling in his grave to what is happening to his country and the many other Africans - Asians, and others as well- in the name of some Revolutionary expediency, African (mumbo-jumbo) Unity, or the long-touted never-realized Islamic brand of justice]. According to the same news, the poor souls have been tried and convicted in accordance to the "Libyan Sharia Laws"! "Out of the frying pan and into the fire," the downtrodden in trying to escape their native Hells have fallen into the jaws of Qaddafi's revolutionary trap with its brand of Islamic Sharia Law, only to be despatched to their final destinations: not in making a living in Libya or escaping to Europe, but rather to their final places of rest! The gallows seem to have found their upkeep in the constant mowing of locals and foreigners without distinction or mercy! Ways to go Jamahiriya! the road towards civilized ways and manners seems to retreat as a mirage in front of you?

        As to the Capital Punishment, suffice it to say, is retreating the world over. However, it's still prospering and finding constant use in the many hell-holes of the so-called 3-World and the Islamic one in particular. In these spots human life is as disposable as the bases on which the state supposed to be functioning. Why so? Perhaps, because most of these societies have never cut their ties to the values and practices of the times in which they came together and formed as aggregates.

        There are many questions whirling around the continuation and practice of such barbaric brand of justice and its cruel ways to deal with crime and punishment. More and more of humans have already relegated such practice to the garbage- bin of history. And many others see it as a relic of medieval culture inadequate to today's administration of justice. In matter of fact, it's been a long time since Hammurabi's days when eye-for-an-eye and tooth-for-tooth were codified and found ample use -and which later both the Bible and the Qu'ran couldn't overpass!- to still be included in the tool-box of justice. A mistake cannot be corrected by another mistake. Revenge isn't supposed to be the supreme law in combating crime! The collective conscience ain't equal to that of the individual's.

        And up to the 21st century. Is it possible that such savagery is the only way to deal with what evidently is an intricate and vexed problem? Even if it ain't a hated tool, borrowed only temporarily, by the 'Republic of the Masses," a la par with Respierre's France or Rasputin's Russia, to redress, correct or put an end to what is apparently out of hand situation, it's still wrong and utterly cruel. The policies of admitting refugees and immigrants, for opportunistic reasons were wrong and this way of correcting them is even more absurd. It may be politically expedient but certainly ethically wrong and morally abhorrent to ensnare immigrants, who were cheated by luck and abandoned by their states, in a trap without escape. These folks shouldn't be made to face their own fate alone, with no one to appeal to for protection nor hope for mercy? If Libya had opened them a window to their dreams by inviting them to its deserts and shores, it cannot abandon them now when they've risked everything for this journey. The tragic fact uis that Libya has turned into a place of despair and a grave-sites for people, who sought it as a refugee, a safe haven! The Jamahiriya is turning, for many Africans and Arabs, into a reign of terror, just as in other times and places when ideological, class, or being different were enough for persecution! Who stands for the poor, wretched, and huddled masses, the jetsams and flotsams of that vast but doomed part of the globe the so-called 3-World countries? When a country that has been flashing its lights of hope for these folks, suddenly decided to turn the beacon off without warnings or dues time. If Libya and Libyans were lucky enough, they shouldn't use tarnish their images by such a practice, as that of the so-called 'Sharia law Justice' in hacking people's limbs and cutting their heads! Such practices in today's world are no better than Neanderthals's sense of justice. A remnant dinosaurs' times still held in the 21st century of homo sapiens journey into civilization.

        Few questions worth posing to those, who'd interiorized oppression to the degree they cannot distinguish between it and true justice. Why the executions seem to be among Africans and Arabs (in addition to Libyans)? Why no one, so far, from the First or Second World has ever been executed? And if pardons and forgiveness could be bestowed on those who've infected hundreds of children with HIV/AIDS virus, who were found guilty in the same courts and according to the same set of laws, why not extend such compassion to include those poor stiffs who've no EU to back them up or the entire West to adopt their cause? Those from the Timbuktus and Ouagadougous of this world need not be abandoned on the shores of Tripoli and Benghazi, and from all the universe in the only "Republic" which allegedly was founded by the "Masses"! How ironic if not tragic if the fiefdom of Qaddafi & Son, Inc., with all its "Charities, institutions, and myriad manifestos of standing with oppresseds and wretcheds of the earth" turns its back on those who sought its help?

        Perhaps it's a case of reality overtaking realism! Stopping a flood of immigrants and finding an acceptable way to deal with those already inside are no easy matters. They're certainly going to test the country's maturity as well as the wisdom of its politicians. A country with high unemployment among its own citizens cannot afford to host more than 2 million of other countries' citizens. Libya is truly facing a difficult decisions to make! So far it seems not much thought has been given to the issue. From the highfalutin platitudes to the callous blase' attitudes the handling of such hot-potato issue has come short of the due regards to human considerations and principles of decency in dealing with them. Rather than a speedy displacement of these folks, a coordinated effort by the various agencies, local and international, and a well-thought about compensation package may lessen the harsh impact of displacement. Libya cannot count on getting out of the mess, it's created, scot-free. A price has to be paid somewhere. It's good that such an issue came out when the oil is at its highest prices and the country can afford to spend some few billions to settle a wrong and misguided policies. But whatever policy it follows, first it's to secure its borders and put an end to the daily flow of workers to the country. Without such an effort any policy would come short of putting an end to what's becoming a universal problem. The world may not be looking to Libya and how it handles its load of backwardness but Libyans should be looking to themselves and how their state acts in matters of human decency, respect of local traditions and international conventions, and issues of Life and Death in particular.

Ghoma
Ghoma47@hotmail.com


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