Libya slave auctions may be crime against humanity: UN chief

United Nations Secretary-General of the Antonio Guterres. (AP photo)
Updated 20 November 2017
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Libya slave auctions may be crime against humanity: UN chief

UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday he was horrified by video footage showing migrants sold as slaves in Libya and that these auctions should be investigated as possible crimes against humanity.
US television network CNN aired the footage last week of an apparent live auction in Libya where black men were presented to North African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400.
“Slavery has no place in our world and these actions are among the most egregious abuses of human rights and may amount to crimes against humanity,” Guterres told reporters.
“I am horrified at news reports and video footage showing African migrants in Libya reportedly being sold as slaves,” he said, adding: “I abhor these appalling acts.”
Guterres called on “all competent authorities” to investigate the slave auctions without delay, adding he had asked the “relevant United Nations actors to actively pursue this matter.”
Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Metig said his UN-backed Government of National Accord would investigate the allegations, in a statement posted Sunday on the Facebook page of the GNA’s press office.
The images have triggered outrage from African leaders and calls for an inquiry.
Guinean President Alpha Conde, who is also chairman of the African Union, on Friday called for an inquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a “despicable trade... from another era.”
Senegal’s government expressed “outrage at the sale of Sub-Saharan African migrants on Libyan soil” that constituted a “blight on the conscience of humanity.”
Niger’s president Mahamadou Issoufou said the issue had made him “deeply angry” and urged Libyan authorities and international organizations to do “everything possible to stop this practice.”


Turkish court rejects Australia’s request to extradite Daesh recruiter

A Turkish soldier is seen in an armoured personnel carrier at a check point near the Turkish-Syrian border in Kilis province, Turkey. (REUTERS)
Updated 20 July 2018
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Turkish court rejects Australia’s request to extradite Daesh recruiter

  • Ties between Turkey and its allies fighting Daesh, particularly the United States, have been frayed by Washington’s support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia
  • Australia had been pressing Turkey to extradite Prakash since he was first detained

SYDNEY: A Turkish court rejected an Australian request to extradite a citizen it believes is a top recruiter for the Daesh group, Australia’s foreign minister said on Friday, in a setback for Canberra’s efforts to prosecute him at home.
Melbourne-born Neil Prakash has been linked to several Australia-based attack plans and has appeared in Daesh videos and magazines. Australia has alleged that he actively recruited Australian men, women and children and encouraged acts of militancy.
“We are disappointed that the Kilis Criminal Court in Turkey has rejected the request to extradite Neil Prakash to Australia,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement.
“We will continue to engage with Turkish authorities as they consider whether to appeal the extradition decision,” she said.
Australia had been pressing Turkey to extradite Prakash since he was first detained there nearly two years ago.
Australia’s Daily Telegraph newspaper reported from Kilis that Prakash was initially ordered to be freed but was later charged under Turkish law with being a Daesh member.
A spokesman at Turkey’s foreign ministry in Istanbul had no immediate comment and the Turkish embassy in Australia did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Ties between Turkey and its allies fighting Daesh, particularly the United States, have been frayed by Washington’s support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara regards as a militant group.
Canberra announced financial sanctions against Prakash in 2015, including anyone giving him financial assistance, with punishment of up to 10 years in jail.
The Australian government wrongly reported in 2016, based on US intelligence, that Prakash had been killed in an air strike in Mosul, Iraq. It later confirmed that Prakash was detained in Turkey.
Australia raised its national terror threat level to “high” for the first time in 2015, citing the likelihood of attacks by Australians radicalized in Iraq or Syria.
A staunch ally of the United States and its actions against Daesh in Syria and Iraq, Australia believes more than 100 of its citizens were fighting in the region.