Target: Chairman of the General National Committee, Mohamed Yousef el-Magariaf.
Goal: Allow the ethnic Tawerghans to return to their homes.
Displaced Tawerghans should immediately be allowed to return to their homes safely. Local authorities around the city of Mirsrata recently turned back a large group of refugees in late June. A convoy of about 40 cars was barred from returning to their home in the incident. Not allowing the group of people to return is similar to detaining people for their own good. It is not the government’s decision to prohibit these refugees from returning to their homes. Human rights organizations estimated that fighting during the conflict dispersed around 35,000 ethnic Tawerghans.
The Tawerghans fled from their homes in 2011 as armed fighters from the city of Misrata approached. The rebel fighters have accused the Tawerghans of fighting with pro-Gaddafi forces during the Libyan civil war and committing crimes in Misrata. While it is understandable that rebel fighters would want justice in crimes against humanity committed against the civilian population in Misrata, this eye for an eye justice is no way to bring those responsible to justice. Forced displacement on this scale is, in its own way, a crime against humanity.
International groups have cautioned the Tawerghans against trying to return, concerned that the conflicts that arose could lead to acts of violence against the group. This should not, however, indefinitely postpone their return. Both in order to ensure their property is returned as well as providing some individuals who were involved in crimes committed against the community in Misrata. Sign this petition and demand that the Libyan government do all that it can to ensure safe passage for the Tawerghan’s back to their homes.
Dear Chairman Mohamed Yousef el-Magariaf,
Recent attempts by the Tawerghan community to return to their homes have been rebuffed by authorities in the regions around Misrata. This group must be allowed safe passaged back to their homes. Not allowing them to do so is similar to detaining people for their own good. It is not your government’s decision to make.
Also, by allowing the Tawerghan community to return to Misrata, the citizens there may begin to bring war crimes charges against those in the Tawerghan community who are believed to have played a role in the violence inflicted against the community. Please do all that you can to both ensure the safety of the Tawerghan community as well as the sense of justice in Misrata.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: via Wikipedia Commons