April 20, 2011

Amnesty International warns of crisis in Misratah

by Jan Harris

An unfolding humanitarian crisis in the city of Misratah in Libya has caused Amnesty International to call from an immediate increase in
humanitarian aid.

The city has been under attack by forces loyal to Colonel al-Gaddafi for weeks now, with relentless shelling devastating residential neighbourhoods.

Many residents are cut off from the world, with no communications, electricity or water.

On her blog, Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s crisis researcher, writes: “The question on virtually everyone’s lips is the same one – where is the international community and why is it not doing anything to provide the protection that it promised, and which they crave, to the vulnerable and increasingly desperate inhabitants of Misratah?”

Malcolm Smart, Amnesty’s director for the Middle East and North Africa, said: “Although the UN has been granted access to investigate, their team may not reach Misratah for days, and we already know how dire the conditions are in the city. The people there need help urgently, and they need it now.”

Yesterday Britain announced that it would accept 5,000 workers from Misratah.

They will be evacuated from the city, along with their families, on charted ships.

It is believed that 1,300 civilians have been killed or injured in Misratah since February.

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