I’m currently in Palermo, Sicily, where the @seaeyeorg’s Alan Kurdi rescue ship is about to begin another mission out on the Mediterranean, off the Libyan coast. We’ll be at sea for up to a month.
I’ll update on this thread. irishtimes.com/news/world/eur…
My first view of the Alan Kurdi ship on Thursday...
& the view waking up on it this morning. The crew is still doing training & expect to leave Palermo port in the next few days.
I'm starting a new thread about the urgent situation at Libya's Triq al Sikka detention centre. As many as 30 refugees, incl 4-6 minors, are currently believed to be in an underground cell, where they may have been tortured as punishment for protesting. aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/r…
These are pictures from the protest on Tuesday. Detainees were asking for a visit from the UN Refugee Agency, who they say guards repeatedly threaten to ban, & better conditions (they're locked inside all day & night, no sunlight or fresh air, some for 1 year or more). #Libya
This is the same centre where Somali refugee Abdulaziz burnt himself to death in October, after telling friends he had lost hope of getting out. It's also where there was a TB outbreak after infected detainees were left w/o medication for more than a month aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/l…
It seems an independent auditor came to Abu Salim today looking into UN activities. The guards told detainees in advance not to mention that they haven't been fed for months (some of their families are sending them money to buy food with instead, which guards take a cut from).
Messages today from Qasr bin Ghashir dc, southern Tripoli, today, where they’re asking for evacuation & any organisation that can help them.
Sorry for my confusion, the teenager above was being held in Qasr bin Ghashir, but has now been moved to the UNHCR facility in Tripoli for evacuation. He's asking for help for those he left behind.
For the last 24 hours I've been texting & calling with refugees in Libya. 500 are apparently stuck in a Tripoli prison w/o food & water after heavy fighting broke out two days ago. They say their guards ran away, leaving them alone.
These refugees are men, women & children. They tried to cross the Mediterranean earlier this year, but were found by Italian boats, who turned them over to the EU-backed Libyan coastguard, who put them in prison. The conditions were already terrible before the fighting started.
Oh the phone earlier I could hear children crying & what sounded like bombing in the distance. The refugees say everyone's incredibly frightened. "We hear machine guns, tanks, big bombs, last night from the roof it was all fire."
Big & exciting day today: I'm in the car with three Lord's Resistance Army defectors. We're on the way to Gulu, northern Uganda, where they'll be reunited with their families for the first time in 16 years. They look serious in this pic, but really everyone is all smiles (Thread)
They were kidnapped as children aged 9, 13 & 16, by the militia led by Joseph Kony, which was responsible for taking 10,000s of children from northern Uganda & forcing them to become child soldiers. Until this week they didn't even know their families were still alive.
They defected in Banda, northeast DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo) a few weeks ago, & arrived in Kampala on Wednesday. Then they went through a few days of procedure & paperwork with the Ugandan government's Amnesty Commission (pic from there).