By Jamal Adel.
Tripoli, 23 March 2014:
The country’s tribal and ethnic minorities still face discrimination, according to the latest report from the . . .[restrict]Aman Organisation Against Discrimination (AOAD).
“The AOAD recorded a number of discrimination cases against Libyan citizens purely on the grounds of region, colour and ethnic background in 2013,” Chairman of AOAD Abdilkareem Suleiman Touky told the Libya Herald.
“There is clear evidence that some Libyan citizens are subjected to real discrimination,” he said, speaking at an event to launch AOAD’s annual report on reported incidents of discrimination reported in Libya during 2013.
“We have also recorded discrimination inflicted upon foreign workers in Libya,” Touky said.
Touky also criticised General National Congress (GNC) policies as not doing enough to protect minority rights.
He cited, in particular, the case of the Tawerghan refugees, some of whom are now being convinced to take up permanent residence in a camp in Jufra. By building houses there for them, he said, it was as good as saying they were not going to be allowed to return to their home town.
“We strongly urge the GNC and the governmental authorities who are directly involved with decision-making processes to pass a law criminalising discrimination in the country,” deputy chairman of AOAD, Al-Sanussi Hamed Wahli, said. This, he said, would be the best way to try and ensure that incidents of discrimination incidents were gradually eliminated.
Greater emphasis should also be put on civil societies to work harder in preventing incidents of discrimination, especially by spreading awareness of how contemptible such practices were, Wahli added.
Touky also pointed towards the culpability of some institutions, including the military, in incidents of discrimination, referring to increasing incidents of kidnappings following identity checks at airports and checkpoints around the country.
He added that some media outlets were also responsible for propagating discrimination, describing this as: . “It is very unfortunate that some media also became part of this discrimination, preaching hate, and widening gaps amongst citizens and deepen discrimination behaviour.”