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Libyan organizations demand Bashagha to apologize for racist expressions

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

TRIPOLI – 45 Libyan non-governmental organizations expressed deep concern on Friday about the serious repercussions of the statements made by some official bodies about the suicide attack on the Libyan Foreign Ministry building in the capital Tripoli, most notably the statements of Interior Minister Commissioner of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), Fathi Bashagha, where he said “The attackers were three, of African skin.”

The organizations considered that these statements by a responsible man in the State, by describing the perpetrators by their skin color, were racist and contrary to the obligations of the Libyan State under the charters and covenants it had ratified, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which provides for explicit provisions to combat all forms of discrimination in the treatment of individuals within a state territory and within its jurisdiction, without distinction as to race or color.

In a joint statement issued Friday in Tripoli, the organizations said: “The language used by the Minister of the Interior puts all those whom he describes as ” of African skin, not dark skin and not light skin” at the site of suspicion because of the color of their skin, and this is dangerous in the multi-ethnic Libyan society, and at this critical stage of political and domestic polarization and the chaos of proliferation of weapons and militias.”

“While condemning terrorist acts and calling for a united stand against extremism, terrorism and intolerance in all its forms, we call upon the Minister of the Interior of GNA to apologize for his statements, and we remind him that, as terrorism has no religion, it also has no color, race or gender,” they added.

The organizations demanded immediately and urgently all official bodies and the media to stop broadcasting hate speech, incitement to xenophobia and refraining from the unjust and arbitrary measures taken by the authorities against migrant workers from African countries.

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