Wednesday Sep 21, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contacts: Ahlam Jbara, Associate Director, CIOGC, (312) 399-3796, email@example.com
Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago raises concern regarding treatment of African immigrants in Libya
(Chicago, IL – 9/20/2011) – The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago is very concerned about recent reports describing the treatment of African immigrants in Libya by rebel fighters. Reports describe numerous instances of arbitrary detentions, pillaging of homes, beatings, rapes and killings.
The Chicagoland area is home to a growing number of African immigrants from Western and Eastern Africa.
The Council appreciates that the Libyan National Transition Council (NTC) has warned its fighters to avoid revenge attacks. Many rebel fighters believe that Gaddafi’s forces are made up primarily of African mercenaries. The BBC reports, however, that the actual numbers of Africans working as mercenaries for Gaddafi are much less than previously alleged and that most black Africans in Libya are longtime resident workers. The UN has recently dispatched a human rights team to investigate these reports.
"Along with our partners in the United African Organizations, we call on Libyan National Transitional Council to clarify these reports and do its best to stop any abuse of African workers and protect them from random or systematic revenge” said Council Chairman Dr. Zaher Sahloul “We pray that the Libyan revolution, culminated by the fall of the dictator Gaddafi and his oppressive regime and earned the support of all freedom-loving people in the world including Chicago Muslims, shows its utmost respect of human rights and human dignity and treats all people equally regardless of their ethnicity, color or religion”.
"It's our fervent hope that the new Libyan government will deploy all necessary resources to end racially-motivated attacks on African immigrants and affirm its unequivocal commitment to the vision of a tolerant, just, inclusive and multi-racial democracy in Libya," said Alie Kabba, Executive Director of United African Organization in Chicago.
About the Council: The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (www.ciogc.org) is a federation of over 50 mosques, Islamic schools and other Muslim organizations throughout the state of Illinois. The Council's member organizations collectively represent over 400,000 Muslims. The Council works to coordinate the activities of our member organizations as well as provide education, training, networking and advocacy to and on behalf of our member organizations and the Muslim community. Among the Council’s top priorities are youth development and civic engagement among Muslim Americans.