UNHCR / EVACUATION FLIGHTS LIBYA TO ITALY

26-Nov-2021 00:04:46
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on welcomed the evacuation of 93 asylum seekers to Italy from Libya, where they had been living in precarious situations with an uncertain future. UNHCR
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STORY: UNHCR / EVACUATION FLIGHTS LIBYA TO ITALY
TRT: 04:46
SOURCE: UNHCR
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNHCR ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / NATS

DATELINE:   22, 25 NOVEMBER 2021, TRIPOLI, LIBYA / 25 NOVEMBER 2021, ROME, ITALY
SHOTLIST
25 NOVEMBER 2021, TRIPOLI, LIBYA

1. Wide shot, asylum-seekers on bus
2. Close up, child
3. Various shot, bus leaving
4. Various shots, asylum-seekers arriving at Mitiga International airport
5. Various shots, asylum-seekers in wheelchair
6. Various shots, asylum-seekers going to waiting area of airport
7. Various shots, asylum-seekers in waiting area

22 NOVEMBER 2021, TRIPOLI, LIBYA

8. Various shots, Hayat, Eritrean asylum seeker with her son
9. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Hayat, Eritrean Asylum-Seeker:
“I’m so happy I could fly. Thank God. I’m going to travel. Thank God. I suffered a lot. It’s hard for a woman alone. That’s why I’m happy.”
10. Med shot, Hayat with her son
11. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Hayat, Eritrean Asylum-Seeker:
“They killed my husband. I faced problems. I was evicted several times from places I stayed. Thirst and problems in the desert where they’d beat you and torture. Also, in the (smugglers) warehouse they beat you and torture you.”
12. Med shot, Hayat with her son
13. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Hayat, Eritrean Asylum-Seeker:
“I need to leave. I need a safe place where I can raise my son. I have nothing else but him. Not my father, mother, brother, friend, nothing. I’ve suffered a lot. My child has suffered.”

25 NOVEMBER 2021, TRIPOLI, LIBYA

14. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Abdsamad, Somali Asylum-Seeker:
“I think about my future and the future of my kids. Hopefully it will be good.”

25 NOVEMBER 2021, ROME, ITALY

15. Various shots, asylum seekers disembarking from plane
16. Various shots, asylum-seekers being welcomed at airport
STORYLINE
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on Thursday (25 Nov) welcomed the evacuation of 93 asylum seekers to Italy from Libya, where they had been living in precarious situations with an uncertain future. 

This group of evacuees, the first of 500 under a new mechanism for humanitarian admissions, includes children, women at risk, survivors of violence and torture, and people with serious medical conditions. Some were recently released from detention while others had been held in captivity by smuggling or trafficking networks.  

The asylum seekers left Tripoli on a UNHCR-chartered flight to Rome. In total, five such flights will be organized over one year. After their arrival, the evacuees will be able to apply for refugee status, which will give them access to safety and security.    

Eritrean mother, Hayat, aged 24, arrived in Libya in 2017, after making a dangerous crossing through the desert. Her husband was shot dead by smugglers when the couple were unable to pay a ransom demand for their release.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Hayat, Eritrean Asylum-Seeker:
“I’m so happy I could fly. Thank God. I’m going to travel. Thank God. I suffered a lot. It’s hard for a woman alone. That’s why I’m happy.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Hayat, Eritrean Asylum-Seeker:
“They killed my husband. I faced problems. I was evicted several times from places I stayed. Thirst and problems in the desert where they’d beat you and torture. Also, in the (smugglers) warehouse they beat you and torture you.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Hayat, Eritrean Asylum-Seeker:
“I need to leave. I need a safe place where I can raise my son. I have nothing else but him. Not my father, mother, brother, friend, nothing. I’ve suffered a lot. My child has suffered.”

Abdsamad, a Somali asylum-seeker, expressed hope for the future.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Abdsamad, Somali Asylum-Seeker:
“I think about my future and the future of my kids. Hopefully it will be good.”

The flights are organized under a new mechanism, combining emergency evacuations with the humanitarian corridors that have been established in Italy since 2016. In addition to funding from the Government of Italy, the scheme relies on the support of a coalition of faith-based organizations, which includes the Community of Saint Egidio, the Federation of Protestant Churches and the Waldensian Table.  

This month, UNHCR was able to resume evacuations from Libya after more than a year, after the authorities lifted a ban on humanitarian flights. On 4 November, UNHCR evacuated 172 vulnerable asylum-seekers from Libya to Niger, where they receive support while waiting for solutions, as part of the UNHCR-supported Emergency Transit Mechanism.  

Since 2017, UNHCR has evacuated or resettled 6,919 refugees and asylum seekers out of Libya, of which 967 were admitted to Italy. 
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