From: Ghezae Hagos (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Feb 24 2011 - 12:34:21 EST
UNHCR says gravely concerned for safety of asylum seekers, refugees in Libya
This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming – to
whom quoted text may be attributed – at the press briefing, on 22 February 2011,
at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
With the events of the past few days in Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (Libya), UNHCR
has become increasingly concerned about dangers for civilians and especially for
asylum-seekers and refugees as many may inadvertently be caught up in this
We have no access at this time to the refugee community. Over the past months we
have been trying to regularize our presence in Libya, and this has constrained
Some of the reports we are getting from third-party sources are very worrying. A
journalist has passed information to us from Somalis in Tripoli who say they are
being hunted on suspicion of being mercenaries. He says they feel trapped and
are frightened to go out, even though there is little or no food at home.
Prior to the current unrest UNHCR had registered over 8,000 refugees in Libya,
with a further 3,000 asylum-seekers having pending cases. The main places of
origin are Palestine, Sudan, Iraq, Eritrea, Somalia and Chad.
We ask all countries to recognize the humanitarian needs at this time of all
people fleeing targeted violence, threats, and other human rights abuses in
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