Tag Archives: North Africa

Libya Feature | Black African Migrants

The Resurgence of Black Enslavement in Libya

Source: CNN/YouTube (November 2017)

As a byproduct of ongoing trans-Mediterranean mass migration by sub-Saharan African migrants and refugees, human trafficking in Libya has surged as smugglers extort and exploit migrants in search of passage to Europe. Reports of imprisonment, forced labor, human markets, financial extortion, physical abuse, and the denial of access to basic necessities like food and water involving black African migrants tell the tale of lawlessness and extreme vulnerability in the war-torn country.

With the E.U. pushing the largely disempowered Libyan government to crack down on migrants using its coast as a point of departure for Europe, poorly run detention centers have sprung up with little oversight to prevent migrants from attempting the trans-Mediterranean passage (where more than 10,000 have died since 2014). Corruption among detention officials, inertia in the repatriation process, and poor international coordination have resulted in some of the detained being leased out for day labor or sold to work on farms and in businesses instead of returned to their countries of origin. Global outrage has led to emergency meetings in multiple international organizations, but a long-term solution to the crisis remains elusive.


Slavery in Libya: Life inside a container” (Al Jazeera | January 2018)

Migrant slavery in Libya: Nigerians tell of being used as slaves” (BBC News | January 2018)

IOM Learns of ‘Slave Market’ Conditions Endangering Migrants in North Africa” (International Organization for Migration | April 2017)


Libya slavery scandal overshadows EU-Africa summit (Al Jazeera | November 2017)

‘Slave markets’ in Libya trap migrants heading for Europe (euronewsvia YouTube | April 2017)

Libya’s Migrant Trade (VICE News | September 2015)

U.A.E. News | Tunisian Women

U.A.E. airline issues travel ban on Tunisian women
  • Emirates, the U.A.E.’s national airline, barred Tunisian women from its flights, necessitating Tunisian government intervention to help stranded passengers.
  • A presidential spokesperson indicated that the Emirati government had issued the directive in response to information indicating women with a Tunisian passport would attempt a terrorist attack.
  • In response, Tunisia banned Emirates from landing in its capital, Tunis.

Attack fears prompted UAE-Tunisia female passenger row” (BBC News | December 2017)

UAE has information Tunisian women may commit ‘terrorist acts’, Tunisia says” (Reuters | December 2017)

Tunisia suspends Emirates flights over security measures targeting women” (Agence France-Presse, via The Guardian | December 2017)

Algeria News | Christian

Christians celebrate opening of Christmas market in Algiers
  • Catholic international organization Caritas organized the market, which has seen contributions from Christians and Muslims alike as a result of increased advertisement in its second year.
  • Algeria’s population is 99% Sunni Muslim but has seen an increase in its Christian minority as a result of the international diplomatic community and influx of sub-Saharan migrants from countries like Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso.
  • Because proselytizing is legally forbidden, Algerian Christian organizations focus on social services in local communities as well as cultural exchange between the country’s Christian and Muslim communities.

Christmas market opens in Algerian capital” (Reuters | December 2017)

« Chrétiens d’Algérie », ils témoignent sans prosélytisme” (La Croix | October 2017, in French)

Dans ‘Chrétiens d’Algérie-Sur les chemins de la rencontre’, Jean Dulon dévoile une ‘Algérie proche et fraternelle’” (The Huffington Post Maghreb | March 2017, in French)

Egypt News | LGBT

Egypt expands crackdown on LGBT community
  • Dozens of LGBT Egyptians have been arrested , including raids on cafés and detentions following a concert by Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila (fronted by a gay man).
  • As citizens continue to be subjected to invasive medical examinations and entrapment via social media and mobile apps, Egypt’s media regulatory body issued a statement condemning homosexuality as a “sickness” and barring the presence or representation of gay people in the media.
  • In addition to political and law enforcement assaults, LGBT Egyptians have recently been the targets of cultural campaigns by the media and conservative religious and academic leaders.

Brutal crackdown has gay and transgender Egyptians asking: Is it time to leave?” (The Los Angeles Times | October 2017)

Egypt’s latest crackdown on gays creates fear in LGBT community” (USA Today | October 2017)

Unofficial Translation of Statement by Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation” (Human Rights Watch | October 2017)

Egypt News | Activists & Dissidents

New NGO law severely curtails capabilities of rights organizations and charities in Egypt
  • President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ratified a law limiting NGO work to developmental and social work activities and subjecting them to government regulation, with violators facing to up to five years of jail time.
  • NGOs will have one year to come into compliance with the law or be dissolved.
  • Human rights organizations accused the government of attempting to quell dissent, with officials long having accused NGOs of taking foreign money to destabilize national security.

Egypt issues controversial NGO law, cracking down on dissent” (Reuters | May 2017)

The Latest: Egypt’s president ratifies law restricting NGOs” (The Associated Press via ABC News | May 2017)

Egypt’s NGO law aims to ‘erase civil society’” (Al Jazeera | May 2017)

(Image Credit: via Reuters)

Egypt News | Coptic Christians

More than two dozen Coptic Christians killed in attack in Egypt
  • Gunmen killed at least 29 and wounded two dozen more in Minya Province while they were en route to a monastery in central Egypt.
  • The Islamic State claimed responsibility, the latest in a series of attacks by the fundamentalist group on the religious minority that has left more than 100 dead since December 2016.
  • Thousands mourned the dead at the Church of the Sacred Family in the village of Dayr Jarnous before beginning a defiant march expressing outrage and calling for retribution.

Grief, rage in Egyptian church after Copts attacked by gunmen” (Reuters | May 2017)

Gunmen in Egypt Force Coptic Christian Pilgrims From Buses and Kill 28” (The New York Times | May 2017)

Egypt Coptic Christians: IS claims attack” (BBC News | May 2017)

(Image Credit: Amr Nabil/Associated Press, via The New York Times)

Egypt News | Christians

At least three dozen killed in church bombings in Egypt
  • At least 25 were killed and 78 injured at St. George’s Church in the Nile Delta city of Tanta, while a second targeted St. Mark’s Cathedral, the seat of the Coptic Pope in Alexandra, killing at least 11 and wounding 35.
  • The bombings, claimed by the Islamic State, came during Palm Sunday observances, a week before Easter and ahead of a planned visit by Pope Francis.
  • The attacks are the latest in a series committed by fundamentalist Islamic militants, with the Islamic State having shifted its strategy in Egypt to targeting the country’s Coptic Christian minority.

Bombings at Egyptian Coptic churches kill 36, injure more than 100” (Reuters | April 2017)

ISIS Claims 2 Deadly Explosions at Egyptian Coptic Churches on Palm Sunday” (The New York Times | April 2017)

Egypt: Isis claims responsibility for Coptic church bombings” (The Guardian | April 2017)

(Image Credit: Khaled Elfiqi/European Pressphoto Agency, via The New York Times)