Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Libya

Slave Auction in Libya, After Outrage, Protests Begin.

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This morning on Europe 1 there was the harrowing testimony of a 17 year old man, Arnaud,  from Cameron who had escaped from slavery in Libya.

“Chaque jour, il y a des tortures, des bastonnades, des électrocutions et des travaux forcés”

Every day there were tortures, beating, electrocutions  and forced labour.

“”Tu deviens un objet. Ce qu’on nous a appris à l’école sur la traite négrière, tu comprends que c’est revenu”,

You become an object. What you learnt at school about the African slave trade, you can see that it’s come back. 

Arnaud, now a refugee in France added,

“En Libye, le mouton vaut plus que l’homme noir.”

In Libya a sheep is worth more than a Black Man.

In France there has been a strong moblisation against Slavery in Libya.

Manifestation contre l’esclavage, à Nouakchott, en Mauritanie, le 29 avril 2015.

Paris, des milliers de personnes ont manifesté samedi à l’appel du Collectif contre l’esclavage et les camps de concentration en Libye (CECCL).  (Le Monde. 23.11.17).

Rwanda has announced that it is willing to take 30,000 victims of the slave markets, (Jeune Afrique,Marché aux esclaves en Libye : le Rwanda prêt à accueillir 30 000 migrants africains“).


Video Of Migrants Sold In Apparent Slave Auction In Libya Provokes Outrage Worldwide

“I am horrified,” the UN secretary-general said.

After a video surfaced showing migrants apparently being sold at auction in Libya, people worldwide have been calling for action.

Last week, CNN published a report on modern slavery in Libya, featuring a video that reportedly was shot in August and appeared to show a man selling African migrants for farm work.

“Big strong boys,” the man said in the video, according to a CNN narrator. “400 … 700 … 800,” he called out the mounting prices. The men were eventually sold for about $400 each, CNN reported. The Libyan government said it has launched an investigation into slave auctions in the country.

Following the CNN report, demonstrators took to the streets in Paris and other cities last week to express their outrage, and Libyans showed their solidarity on Twitter with the hashtag #LibyansAgainstSlavery.



Written by Andrew Coates

November 24, 2017 at 1:10 pm

Solidarity with our Coptic Brothers and Sisters!

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“The hatred of the Christian Copts in Egypt plays the same function that anti-Semitism played in Weimar Germany.”  Gilbert Achcar (International Viewpoint).

Islamic State Video Shows Beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians

By Rukmini Callimachi and David D. Kirkpatrick- NYT

A video released Sunday by the Islamic State appears to show the mass beheading of a group of 21 Coptic Christians, who are made to kneel beside the sea in what is identified as the coast near Tripoli, Libya.

It is the first time that the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, has released an official video showing such a killing outside of the territory it controls in Syria and Iraq.

The footage begins with slow motion images of the Egyptian Christian hostages, who were kidnapped in Libya several weeks ago, walking single file along the sandy beach. The hostages are all wearing orange jumpsuits. Each one is led by a black-clad executioner who is grasping a knife. The only sound is that of the crashing waves. They are made to kneel, and then one by one they are beheaded.

The lead executioner, who wears a brown mask over his face, thrusts his dagger at the camera. “Oh people, recently you have seen us on the hills of as-Sham and Dabiq’s plain, chopping off the heads that have been carrying the cross for a long time,” he says in fluent English, using terms referring to localities in and around Syria. “And today, we are on the south of Rome, on the land of Islam, Libya, sending another message.”

The high-quality video, which bears the logo of Al Hayat, the official publishing arm of the Islamic State, is in stark contrast to the footage released in the past by affiliates of the group. The footage in those videos was shaky and grainy, suggesting an amateur production. By contrast, the five-minute clip released Sunday is professional and cinematic, and is filmed in the same style as previous Islamic State videos, including one that showed the mass beheading of captured Syrian soldiers last year.

The video suggests that at least some of the Islamic State’s franchises abroad are becoming ever more tightly linked with the central group. Stills of the Libya video appeared last week in Dabiq, the Islamic State’s official English-language magazine. And the footage released today was preceded by an announcement on the group’s official news media, which foreshadowed the release, saying: “A Message Signed with Blood to the Nation of the Cross.”

Coptic Solidarity.

Financial Times

The Egyptian military said it carried out dawn air strikes on Monday against groups in Libya affiliated with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant after the extremists posted footage showing the beheading of a group of Egyptian workers in the central Libyan city of Sirte.

A spokesman for the Egyptian military said the air force hit training camps and weapons caches belonging to the extremists. State television showed footage of fighter jets taking off in Egypt. The military spokesman said all returned safely after accomplishing their mission “with accuracy”.

He said the raids were “to avenge and respond to the criminal acts by terrorist groups and elements inside and outside the country”.

See also L’Etat islamique signe par le sang sa présence en Libye (le Monde)

Written by Andrew Coates

February 16, 2015 at 12:29 pm

Islamic State Targets Copts.

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This story broke from Thursday onwards.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry is investigating the authenticity of pictures purportedly showing the Egyptian abductees in Libya, the Ministry Spokesman Badr Abdel Atty said on Thursday.

Twenty-one Coptic Egyptians were abducted in the Libyan city of Sirte on two separate occasions, only one week apart. Seven were kidnapped on December 31, 2014, while the remaining 14 were captured on January 3.

Pictures allegedly belonging to the abductees went viral on social media websites after they were published by a magazine affiliated with the Islamic State fighters. Those featured in the pictures were clad in orange, a colour usually signalling the captives’ death sentence by the group.

Late on Thursday, Egypt commenced emergency procedures to evacuate all Egyptian nationals wishing to return from Libya, reported state television.

Egyptian Streets.

IS tells reasons of kidnapping Egyptian Copts in Libya, Cairo follows up

“This month, the soldiers of the Khilāfah in Wilāyat Tarābulus captured 21 Coptic crusaders, almost five years after the blessed operation against the Baghdad church executed in revenge for Kamilia Shehata, Wafa Constantine, and other sisters who were tortured and murdered by the Coptic Church of Egypt. The operation was planned by Hudhayfah al-Battāwī (rahimahullāh), wālī of Wilāyat Baghdad at the time, alongside the senior military commander, Abū Ibrāhīm az- Zaydī (rahimahullāh), both of whom played a crucial role – through their passion and zealousness – in preserving the morale of the Islamic State,” the report continued.

“And so, five years after the blessed operation in Iraq, Allah (ta’ālā) granted the Islamic State expansion to Libya, Sinai, and elsewhere, allowing it to easily capture the Coptic crusaders-  the followers of the dead Shenouda and the supporters of the tāghūt Sisi – as the Salaf said,” the report said.

Priest Stephanos Shehata of of Samalout Coptic Orthodox Diocese in Minya (Upper Egypt) told Dostor newspaper Friday that IS (a.k.a. ISIS or ISIL)militants have asked for the release and appearance of those two women and escorting them to to Minya in order to release the 21 kidnapped Copts.

See: Original article by the Islamic State (PdF).

“The article was concluded with this call to kill Copts: “Finally, it is important for Muslims everywhere to know that there is no doubt in the great reward to be found on Judgment Day for those who spill the blood of these Coptic crusaders wherever they may be found…”

 While showing the Coptic abductees in death dress, there was no explicit mention of whether they have already been executed.”

Coptic Solidarity.

The BBC reports,

Egypt has offered to evacuate its citizens from Libya after Islamic State (IS) released photos which it says show 21 Coptic Egyptians kidnapped there.

President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said Egyptians would be airlifted out of Libya, state-run news agency Mena said.

It came as a relative of one of those kidnapped told the BBC the victim’s family had “collapsed emotionally”.

A number of Egyptian Coptic Christians were kidnapped in two raids in Sirte, Libya, in December and January.

The pictures released by IS were published in the latest online edition of the group’s magazine Dabiq.

A statement from the office of Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said a special committee was closely following events in order to “clarify the situation and learn the truth”.

In Cairo, the families of the 21 hostages, who were working in Libya, have staged a protest accusing the president of not doing enough for them.

Speaking on Friday, an uncle of one of the kidnapped men said there was “an atmosphere of complete devastation” in his village following the publication of the pictures.

“We urge the president to exert his utmost efforts to bring our children back home,” said Bashir Zaki. “We elected him and love him, he shouldn’t neglect us.”

Written by Andrew Coates

February 14, 2015 at 12:36 pm

Jimas, the EDL, Now Outrage from Local Muslims – Some Comments.

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On Wednesday in the afternoon I had another visit from the Police about Jimas.

It turns out that they are no longer making their false claims about Tendance Coatesy.

That is, firstly, their assertion that have ‘met’ them, and that secondly, that I am behind the ‘Usual Suspects’ –  somebody writing unpleasant E-Mails to various local figures about them.

I was able to explain to the Police that I as a left-wing secularist have political differences with Jimas.

I suggested that their joint march with the EDL demonstrated better than anything else good reasons my doubts, as an anti-racist and anti-fascist,  about them.

That evening there was am Ipswich  public meeting of Hope Not Hate.

At the start a member of the SWP announced that he had “invited” Jimas to come along to explain their walk with the  EDL.

The SWP declared that Jimas now accepted that their initiative had been a “tactical” error.

While we were waiting to begin Jimas leader   Manwar Ali, accused the Blog Tendance Coatesy of “sectarianism” – a term perhaps he had heard from the SWP.

A Riverside View says, accurately, that their statement can be summarised as

Jimas’ intention was not to support the EDL and they did it for three reasons.
1, To show condolences and respect for Drummer Lee Rigby.
2, To show solidarity with the British people and the armed forces.
3, Challenge all extremists.

He also said

“We are all British and we are Muslims”


“It might have been a great mistake.”

There was also a lot at the end about Jimas’ religious beliefs.

They  did not appreciate it when I cited a comment on an  Islamic Forum which I said I agreed with.

That the EDL were regarded by most people in the UK a racists that they would have nothing to do with.

I indicated that saying  they “might” have been wrong was the not the same as saying they “had” been wrong.

Manwar Ali approached me as we breaking into two groups.

He wanted to shake hands.

Which we did.

He then seemed to want to have further contract – blithely disregarding the fact (as I pointed out)  that he had made claims about me which he now admitted were false.

Indeed which – I would add – had resulted in the Police visiting me and asking lots of questions about my Blog.

Still Manwar Ali did show that he disliked this Blog by launching, abruptly, into a tirade about its “lies”,  before stopping.

This, which some might regard as a political motive (he disagrees with the Tendance’s political opinions)  for making a malicious complaint, is not however the principal issue.

Have Jimas explained away their action?

Was it just a, as the SWP think, a “tactical” mistake?

This strongly  indicates that the answer is no – that the offence is very great.

5 Pillarz reports,

Muslims in Ipswich, however, were not so supportive of the JIMAS initiative. Speaking to worshipers of Shah Jalal Masjid in Ipswich, many voiced their discontent.

Medical student, Mohammed Nazrul said: “How could JIMAS walk in unity with the EDL, when the same EDL calls for Muslims to be violently attacked, demand us to be deported and mock the principles of our religion?”

Local businessman Joinal Miah said: “What happened in Woolwich was wrong and not from Islam. But to march with the EDL who have nothing but pure hatred for Islam is going a step too far.

“Condemning the Woolwich murder is one thing, but ignoring foreign policy and then referring to British troops as ‘our troops’ is another.

“I would question Manwar Ali if such statements are even allowed in Islam, considering the same British soldiers are responsible for the plight of the Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq. Who exactly is he trying to please?”

The last sentence makes a very good point.

Who are Jimas trying to please?

Apart from the SWP, who seem eager to work with Jimas,  it is unlikely that their action has been forgotten by other left-wing political activists.

We consider the EDL to be a bunch of racist thugs. While their principal target is Muslims we know full well that they loathe other ethnic groups, minorities of all kinds, migrant workers, and….the left. On all of these subjects it is not hard to find their virulent expressions of hatred.

Jimas is small group. It pulled this stunt for a variety of reasons, some, it has been suggested, less honourable than a desire to bring people together.

Jimas is a minority missionary movement. It is likely that they will become even more of a minority in the future.

Written by Andrew Coates

June 7, 2013 at 11:15 am

Lutte ouvrière. Life under François Hollande? “Worse” than under Nicolas Sarkozy

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Fraternity: LO Style.

After high jinks with Jimas we return to the calmer waters of the left.

Well, kind of calm.

Last weekend was Lutte Ouvrière’s annual  Fête.

The comrades from the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty were mainly impressed by the continuous rain.

This is some of the French press reaction.

It will come as no surprise that  Lutte ouvrière does not like the French Socialist-led government.

Life under François Hollande? “It’s worse” than under Nicolas Sarkozy. That was the message delivered on Sunday May 19 at the annual celebration of  Lutte ouvrière  in Presles (Val-d’Oise), through its spokesperson Nathalie Arthaud*. A year after the Presidential election, when she received 0.56% of the vote, the former candidate strongly attacked the Head of State. She called him the “armed wing of the bourgeoisie.” Here.

The rest of the Le Monde article is only available for 2 Euros, but as I have a print copy I can say that Arthuad went on in this vein to run down the entire French left.

Libération reports that,

Mélenchon, under the guise of “radical appearance,” is  “politically hollow” and “opposed to the interests of workers.” Mocking his willingness to take the Bastille while aspiring to be the Prime Minister, she proclaimed her pride of not only taking part in the demonstration on May 5,” the call for the 6th Republic initiated  by the leader of the Left Front.

Libé goes onto cite something rude she said about the Parti Communiste.

Oh, and the Front National.

But what struck me in the original article was the glacial remarks Arthaud made about the Nouveau party anti-capitaliste (NPA).

They were severely  at fault for participating in the 5th of May demonstration and for dropping the word ‘communist’ from their name (as in Ligue communiste révolutionnaire).

The Le Monde article helpfully  noted that the LO leader is a municipal  councillor, elected as part of a Parti communiste français list.

This is indeed the case, “Conseillère municipale à Vaulx-en-Velin (Rhône) élue sur la liste conduite par le Parti communiste. “

We imagine the PCF are well-pleased with her remarks.

* Candidate for the  2012 Presidential election: 0,56 % of the vote  (202 548)

Bernard-Henri Lévy on Mali, or more Moral Bankruptcy.

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On Mali the sweeping generalisations of the Stop the War Coalition finds their mirror image in the moral bankruptcy of Bernard-Henri Lévy.

Lévy, we are not entirely surprised, (ho hum…) to learn, supports the French intervention (Here).

This is why (I reproduce the all-too faithful translation of French syntax  on his site of the former Nouveau Philosophe’s French syntax),

Firstly, “It says no to obscurantism and terrorism in the region. The response of the Malian Taliban and what that response tells us about their discipline and their military capacity (for example, their ability to down planes) will finally prove, if more proof were needed, that we are dealing with a criminal army: organized, trained, fearsome.”

Hackles raised (“criminal army: organized, trained, fearsome” as if the Malian Jihadists were a force capable of storming the gates of Hell), we then hear that the intervention,

” blocks the true aim of the Ansar Dine group’s advance on the capital, Bamako, which is to reinforce Islamist cells operating to the west, in Mauritania, and to the southeast, in Niger; to join up, farther south, with the fighters of Boko Haram, the radical Islamist movement that has sown death and destruction in Nigeria for three years now; and thus to open up a lethal corridor through the subregion, a corridor that would, were it not for the French operation, have been nearly impossible to breach.”

With such strategic ambitions, no doubt illustrated by the Islamists clever alienation of the populations under their control, their destruction of religious monuments, their rapes, their cruel Sharia law, we have recourse only to this: the ‘West’ coming in.

“As a matter of principle, it confirms the responsibility to protect civilian populations that underpinned the earlier intervention in Libya.”

The ‘West’s’ actions in Libya were the result of a number of strategic calculations, amongst which the desire to get rid of Gaddafi, on the basis of a popular uprising were but one. The extremely serious former official American Tripoli attaché, Ethan Daniel Chorin, analyses this in Exit Gaddaffi: the hidden History of the Libyan revolution (2012). Chorin notes how complex and hesitant the decisions that led to this  intervention were. Protecting civilian populations was only one of many other, more hard-headed, justifications for the West’s backing for Gaddafi’s overthrow. Even officially….

The result in not generally considered an unqualified success.

Lévy continues,

It reaffirms the old idea of just war brought back into fashion by the Libyan revolution. François Hollande de­cided to use force only as a last resort. He did so in accord with international law as articulated in the Security Council’s resolution of Dec. 12. He satisfied himself that the operation had a “reasonable” chance of success and that the harm that it would inflict would, “in all likelihood,” be less than that which it would prevent. That is the lesson of the jurist Grotius and of Saint Thomas Aquinas, an elegant and useful lesson in practical philosophy.

Grotius and  Saint Thomas Aquinas were no doubt unfamiliar with France’s colonial history in Africa, or with ‘Françafrique. It is doubtful however if they would give the right to declare ‘just wars’ to third parties with interests, but not populations, involved in the fight.They would no doubt have hesitated to endorse  the idea that it was entirely up to François Hollande to decide on the right to intervene in Mali.

We observe in passing that there are plenty of people ready to challenge the idea that he has done so according to international law, not least because of the lack of legitimacy of the Mali government and military.

The military-philospher next declares,

“it restates the prominent role of France in the front lines of the struggle for democracy. Is Hollande following in the footsteps of Sarkozy? As if that were the question! As if what were at stake here were not a thousand times more important than any political rivalry or personal competition. Seen in U.S. terms, France (regardless of party) appears to be in the process of inventing a strategic doctrine that tackles from the rear the twin evils of neoconservatism and noninterventionism.”

The last part of the sentence is a very imperfect translation of “prenant également à revers ces deux fléaux jumeaux que sont, d’une part, le néoconservatisme et, de l’autre, le souverainisme – et de cela encore, sans être exagérément “patriote”, on aurait tort de ne pas se réjouir.” (French version)

This meant, in the original, the “twins” of neoconservativism and “sovereigntism. Sovereigntism is a broad doctrine, held on parts of both the French Right and Left, from the ‘Gaullists’ to the John Pierre Chevènement on the left, that national sovereignty is a prime political value. Supporters of this view (or rather, some of them) oppose intervention in another nation’s affairs, by war above all, not just on ‘non-interventionist’, grounds (which could include a judgement of French national ‘interests) but as a matter of principle.

How can we have democracy without some basic respect for the people, if not the ‘nation’ of ‘sovereign states’ of the world?

There is no actually existing cosmopolitan democracy.

Hollande is acting out of his government’s assessment of their interests. These may include the promotion of democratic values but you don’t have to be a ‘wise guy’ to suspect that the reasons why France is concerned about Sahal states  are principally their own, ‘sovereign’ ones.

Lévy continues,

..inevitably, there will soon arise the chorus of Cassandras crying quagmire, another Vietnam, the adventurism of a war that was supposed to last only a few days but that has ground on. Easy words in a democracy of opinion. Will France’s leaders have enough grit to stand up to the chorus once it finds its voice, to meet it with steady determination and clear explanations of what is at stake?

The American version omits this phrase,

” saura-t-on opposer le mépris qui convient à ceux qui crient déjà au retour de la Françafrique et de ses réflexes néocoloniaux ?”

That is, those who say that this is a return to French neo-colonialism, or “la Françafrique.”

The adventure is beginning to look increasingly framed exactly within these terms.

The real issue is: how to defeat the Islamists, restore democracy to Mali, avoid ethnic killings and the brutality of the Malian army by the actions of the Malian people themselves.

This is no seriously  discussed.

Without taking these central issues into account, Lévy is as bankrupt at the Stop the War Coalition who simply cry out, “it’s another Afghanistan’.

We can, however, agree with his final sentence.

“What is certain is that François Hollande is facing his first real political test—and his first confrontation with history.”

Gaddafi and Sarkozy, DSK (again) and Julien Dray: French Scandals in Cascade.

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Colonel  Muammar Gaddafi meets President Nicolas Sarkozy in Libya

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi meets President Nicolas Sarkozy in Libya 

“In late 2006, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi offered nearly $66 million, or 50 million euros, to support the 2007 campaign of Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s current president who is now facing almost certain defeat in a May 6 runoff vote, according to the investigative journalist website Mediapart.

The revelation, purportedly in an official Libyan document, comes a month after Sarkozy publicly rejected claims that his 2007 campaign had accepted funding from Gaddafi — with whom he had publicly carried on amicable relations even before emphatically winning the presidency five years ago.

An image of the Arab-language memo cited by Mediapart can be viewed here. “(from Global Post).

News managers were quick on this one as the story developed in the French media this morning.

Sarkozy has issued a statement of stout denial.

Back to DSK.

Yesterday we had his self-regarding roll  in his own muck publicised in the Guardian “Dominique Strauss-Kahn accuses enemies linked to Nicolas Sarkozy of destroying bid for French presidency” (Here)

Today we learn this:

C’est ce qu’on appelle un invité surprise embarrassant. Pour fêter son anniversaire, samedi soir, le député  avait convié dans un bar parisien, entre autres, , Manuel Valls et Pierre Moscovici. Sauf qu’il ne les avait pas avertis de la présence de Dominique Straus-Kahn parmi les convives, ce qui a provoqué leur départ. 

It’s what you call a surprise unwelcome guest. Saturday evening, to celebrate his Birthday, Socialist MP, Julien Dray, had invited people to a Parisian bar, including  Ségolène Royal (ex-Socialist presidential candidate), Manuel Valls (Socialist Campaign manager) and Pierre Moscovici (also from the Campaign team). They had not been informed that Dominique Straus-Kahn would be on the invited list, and scarpered as soon as they saw him. (from Here)

One imagines the scene. DSK, bright as button, turns up for a quiet drink and some nibbles with his old friends.

Yet the poor chap got the cold shoulder!

There are, naturally, some reasons for their behaviour, amongst which one cite a generally held wish that DSK could be put into a trunk, weighted down with rocks, and hurled into the Atlantic Ocean.

One could mention as well that this particular ghost at the feast claims to have been a ‘libertine’.

He does not deny his sexual antics. He smirks about them, with a  vulgarity unparalleled since one of the worst films in French history showed the Editor of the Encyclopedia  and noble thinker Diderot cavorting in ‘Carry on Up the Enlightenment’ (Le Libertin).

An eminent expert and lecturer in nursing psychiatry (my sister) comments,

DSK is a narcissistic egotist with pronounced psychopathic tendencies. Or, more commonly, a dirty old man who pays for sex.

He pays, he pays, or somebody does, or does he really think they do it for “ses beaux yeux”.

This picture from last night  is, appropriately, taken of Straus-Kahn in the Rue Saint Denis – an ancient haunt of street sex workers.


Julien Dray is a former student leader of the Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire. He joined the Parti Socialiste in 1981. For over a decade he was an important figure on its left, founding with Jean-Luc Mélenchon the Gauche Socialiste in 1998. After the electoral defeat of 2008 Dray drifted to right and ended up as a friend of  Ségolène Royal and a member of her current,  « L’Espoir à gauche. He has suffered from heart problems.

I was going to end there but his cheap behaviour prompts me to add (only indirectly referred to in the French version of  Wikipedia) the ‘watch affair’.

Investigated for alleged misuse of funds involving « Les Parrains de SOS Racisme » et de la Fédération indépendante et démocratique lycéenne he was eventually let off. He was ‘let off’ with more than a hint of possible wrong-doing. The inquiry revealed that he was “Collectionneur invétéré de montres” and that “Julien Dray aurait dépensé plus de 200 000 euros dans les horlogeries en France et en Italie depuis trois ans. (Here)

Well, anybody can spend 200,000 Euros on watches – just like that!

Written by Andrew Coates

April 29, 2012 at 11:00 am