Wednesday, Dec 02nd

Last update11:54:54 AM GMT

Respect Geneva Convention, Italy asked

Human rights organizations have asked Italian authorities to respect the Geneva Convention and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Led by EveryOne Group, the human rights organizations made the call after Italy and Libya renewed the infamous friendship treaty between the two countries, with the same form of cooperation in combating illegal immigration that was part of the previous treaty signed by Silvio Berlusconi and Colonel Gaddafi back in 2008.

Despite protests against the treaty by the major international organizations that defend the rights of refugees and the articles of the Geneva Convention, the President of the National Transitional Council of Libya (CNT) Mustafa Abdel Jalil and Prime Minister Mario Monti signed the same anti-immigration pact on 16th December 2011.

In essence, the treaty ensures cooperation in the fight against illegal immigration through tight controls along the Libyan coast, as well as Italian investments in Libya.

They also agreed to renew the financial compensation to Libya for the era of colonial rule. No guarantee was sought from the Libyan authorities with regard to the protection of migrants entitled to refugee status or international protection as victims of persecution, human rights organisations said.

EveryOne Group and other NGOs have sent an urgent appeal to the Italian government, President Giorgio Napolitano, President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies Gianfranco Fini, the High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, and the European Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg, asking Italy and Libya to sign an undertaking to respect the Geneva Convention and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights in their policies on immigration.

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