According to the Associated Press, Libyan rebels are rounding up and detaining thousands of Black Libyans and migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, accusing them of fighting on behalf of Moammar Gadhafi and holding them in makeshift jails across the city of Tripoli.
“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.”
Libya has a relatively small population, 6.6 million, and has welcomed sub-Saharan immigrants looking for work in the oil fields for decades. At the same time, the Black Libyans from the southern portion of the country comprised a major portion of the army. During the revolution there were frequent rumors and witness accounts of mercenaries hired and flown in to put down the rebellion.
It is estimated that over 5,000 have been detained.
“The danger is that there is no oversight by any authorities, and the people who are carrying out the arrests — more like abductions — are not trained to respect human rights,” said Diana Eltahawy of Amnesty International. “They are people who carry a lot of anger against people they believe committed atrocities.”
The revolution is won.
Be seeing you.