In a barbaric and shocking video (watch above) that is making its way across the Internet, Libyan rebels are depicted giving insulting demands to a group of African men who have been placed in a zoo-like cage and forced to eat the country’s flag.
“Eat the flag, you dog. Patience, you dog, patience. God is Great,” someone is overheard shouting in the background of the video that aired last week.
The men, who appear to be young, all have their hands tied and a couple have their feet bounded together. They appear to have been physically mistreated, with some even having traces of excrement on their pants.
The caged men have an audience of male spectators who intently watch as the Africans are made to perform for them, jumping up and down with the pieces of flag still in their mouths.
Libya’s National Transitional Council, the country’s interim government, are reportedly targeting Black Libyans and migrant workers with violent retribution in the country’s post-Muammar Gaddafi era, because when Gaddafi, Libya’s 42-year dictator, still ruled the country, he reportedly hired mercenaries from sub-Saharan Africa to push back rebel fighters. Once Gadaffi was overthrown, though, he sought refuge in two large drainage pipes, but rebel forces closed in on him and shot him. He eventually died en route to a hospital.
Since Black Libyans and African laborers are being accused of being Gaddafi’s hired mercenaries, they are reportedly being rounded up and detained in makeshift jails around the country, while others have reportedly faced beatings, revenge killings, and even mass execution. Mercenary fighters found armed have been automatically executed, with no questions asked. Most detainees say they are innocent, claiming that they were not involved in fighting and are simply migrant workers being falsely accused.
Some of the country’s migrant workers have managed to flee for their lives to other neighboring African countries like Mali and Niger, but more than 5,000 of them have been detained.
Prior to the Libya uprising, Blacks held low-level jobs in the country. Human Rights Investigations (HRI) suspect Libyan rebels of trying to purge the country of Black skin, particularly in the cities of Misrata and Tawergha. Last fall, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. called for an investigation by the International Criminal Court in to the reported killings of Black Libyans in the city.
Libyan Ambassador Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgham told the UN Security Council that detainees held by the government, including a number of former Gaddafi ministers and senior officers, were treated well. Shalgham also told the Daily Mail, though, “that there are areas where the state has not been able to control. There is not police or courts in those areas. We cannot be responsible for all excesses everywhere. We are against them, we object to them, and we hold the perpetrators of such acts responsible.”