Liberians are expected to join thousands of other nationals around the world to protest against Libya for buying and selling migrants and refugees, as well as other ‘heartless and deadly’ treatments.
The organizers said their protest is a backlash to Libya’s crimes against humanity. The Liberia protest is organized by Gospel musical icon turned politician, Kanvee Gaine Adams.
In a telephone conversation with the Daily Observer yesterday, Adams said the “march” is set for Wednesday, December 6, where Liberians will peacefully assemble in front of the Libyan Embassy for answers from Libya.
Kanvee ranted over the phone: “We’re going there for answers…Why should Libya prevent a safe route of passage for migrants and refugees to go to Europe; why should Libyans buy and sell human beings as slaves and why should they inhumanely treat other human beings like animals?”
Liberians in Libya
In a rather tearful tone, Kanvee explained that there are also Liberians in Libya who went there to seek passage to Europe, but unfortunately, their documents and money were seized and they were thrown into dungeons, sold as slaves — beaten, molested and some have died.
“There are hundreds of Liberian migrants (travelers) in Libya who have been trapped and probably also been sold and maltreated, according to my brother, Issa, who narrowly bought his way out and is presently in Accra, Ghana.”
She sobbed: “Issa and some of his friends went to Libya — they met Liberians there — Liberians are in Libya…”
Wednesday or Friday
However, Adams said the march and assembly will be scheduled on Wednesday, pending a permit from the Justice Ministry. If not, the final date would be on Friday.
“A call to duty!!! All Africans at the Libyan Embassy on Wednesday, December 6, from 7:30 a.m. demanding an explanation from the Ambassador on gross human rights violations on fellow Africans! Be a part as we will be peaceful, come with posters. A cause we must stand for,” she wrote on her Facebook timeline.
Song against Slavery
As a way to continue and promote the awareness against slavery and maltreatment of other Africans in Libya, she said, she is doing a song, entitled: “Africa is Beautiful, but Leaders are Ugly.”
“The song explains the beautiful lands of Africa – the natural resources, climate, weather, etc, but the leaders – officials of Africa have ugly ways – bad and wicked ways.”
AU and EU Offices
Meanwhile, according to Kanvee, if the Libyan Embassy is closed, the protesters will march on Wednesday to the offices of the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) for answers and petition them to stop the slave trade.
UN Urges Libya
On Thursday, the United Nations urged Libya to “take urgent action” to end the slave trade, a practice exposed by CNN’s exclusive reporting that showed slave auctions in the country.
In a written statement released on Thursday from a panel of UN experts including Urmila Bhoola, special rapporteur on contemporary slavery, and Felipe Gonzalez Morales, special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, the panel said it was “extremely disturbed” by the images.
“It is now clear that slavery is an outrageous reality in Libya. The auctions are reminiscent of one of the darkest chapters in human history when millions of Africans were uprooted, enslaved, trafficked and auctioned to the highest bidder.”
The slave trade was brought to the United Nations’ attention after undercover CNN reporters witnessed a dozen men being sold at auctions outside Libya’s capital, Tripoli.
Many of those being sold are migrants like Victory, a 21-year-old man who fled Nigeria and spent his life savings in hopes of reaching Europe. He made it as far as Libya when he ran out of funds, he told CNN, and smugglers sold him as a day laborer to make a profit.