Protesters to march through Sheffield calling for Libyan refugees to be rescued to UK and Europe

A protest march will take place in Sheffield this weekend, highlighting the plight of Libyan refugees and calling on the British Government and Europe to come to their rescue.

Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 9:21 am
Updated Monday, 20th January 2020, 11:18 am

Demonstrators will march through the city centre on Saturday to draw attention to what they describe as the “desperate situation” of refugees facing danger and abuse in Libya.

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group said the North African country has become a magnet for people fleeing persecution in other parts of the continent, as rival gangs exploit their desperation to get into Europe.

“I was lucky to find safety in the UK before Libya erupted into chaos following the fall of Colonel Gaddafi,” said march organiser Mihreteab Kidane.

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Sheffield Town Hall.

“Now, people who’ve lost their money and nearly their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean find themselves stranded in a country that is incapable of safeguarding them from exploitation and abuse.”

Some African countries have offered to take some of the estimated 45,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Libya, but Europe is accused of standing by while Libyan border guards, smugglers and warlords sell, kill and torture people who just want a place of safety.

Many are fleeing war, dictators and torture in Eritrea, Syria, Yemen, Sudan and Somalia.

“We’re appealing to the British Government and Europe to rescue those who’re stranded and give them safe routes to asylum in Europe.”

The march starts at 12.30pm from the bottom of the Moor, arriving at the Town Hall about 1pm.