Green Room

Arab hypocrisy, er, democracy news

posted at 11:11 am on September 1, 2011 by

Libyan Arabs are rounding up black Africans in Libya and putting them in detention centers.

Rebel forces and armed civilians are rounding up thousands of black Libyans and migrants from sub-Sahara Africa, acccusing them of fighting for ousted strongman Moammar Gadhafi and holding them in makeshift jails across the capital.

Virtually all of the detainees say they are innocent migrant workers, and in most cases there is no evidence that they are lying. But that is not stopping the rebels from placing the men in facilities like the Gate of the Sea sports club, where about 200 detainees – all black – clustered on a soccer field this week, bunching against a high wall to avoid the scorching sun.

Charming. I await the outraged statements from the EU, the UN, and various human rights organizations. Any minute now.

The rebels’ National Transitional Council has called on fighters not to abuse prisoners and says those accused of crimes will receive fair trials.There have been little credible evidence of rebels killing or systematically abusing captives during the six-month conflict. Still, the African Union and Amnesty International have protested the treatment of blacks inside Libya, saying there is a potential for serious abuse.

Aladdin Mabrouk, a spokesman for Tripoli’s military council, said no one knows how many people have been detained in the city, but he guessed more than 5,000. While no central registry exists, he said neighborhood councils he knows have between 200 and 300 prisoners each. The city of 1.8 million has dozens of such groups.

Justice Minister Mohammed al-Alagi told reporters this week that he’d visited several detention centers and found conditions “up to international standards.”

“We are building a Libya of tolerance and freedom, not of revenge,” he said.

Sure. Tolerance. Freedom. Not revenge. Because a tolerant, freedom-loving nation totally rounds up people just because of their skin color and puts them into detention camps. For no reason other than their skin color. Look how tolerant the Arab Libyans are to their darker-skinned Muslim brethren:

In the Khallat al-Firjan neighborhood in south Tripoli, Associated Press reporters saw rebel forces punching a dozen black men before determining they were innocent migrant workers and releasing them.

The Gate of the Sea club near Tripoli’s fishing port became a lockup Monday night, when residents rounded up people in the surrounding area.

Guards at the club said they looked for unfamiliar faces, then asked for IDs. Those without papers or whose legal residences were distant cities were marched to the club.

This week, an armed guard stood by a short hallway that led through two metal gates onto a soccer field surrounded by high walls. There was no roof, so the detainees clustered against the wall to get out of the heat.

Totally up to international standards, holding detainees without charge and making them stand in a soccer field in the desert sun. And look at how perfectly logical the charges are:

In an office nearby where sports trophies still lined the shelves, Ibrahim al-Rais, a 60-year-old fisherman, acted as prison director. A bag held wallets and IDs taken from the captives. Another was stuffed with cell phones, which occasionally rang.

He acknowledged that many of the detainees were likely innocent migrant workers stranded in the country but he insisted that a “big percentage” were mercenaries.

“These people were fighting against our people,” he said.

Substitute Palestinians and Israelis for black Africans and Libyans, and imagine the world’s outrage. Israeli Double Standard Time is in effect. But don’t worry! It only occurs on days that end with a “y.”

Cross-posted.

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This actually doesn’t sound that bad, considering the region. I would have guessed mass executions would have been a possibility.

Count to 10 on September 1, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Substitute black Africans and Libyans for Palestinians and Israelis and imagine Meryl Yourish’s outrage. Libyan Double Standard Time is in effect. But don’t worry! It only occurs on days that end with a “y.”

There is such a thing as a seamless garb, and few of us wear them.

unclesmrgol on September 1, 2011 at 2:23 PM

RAAAAACI…Arab Spring!

Feedie on September 2, 2011 at 4:07 AM