Posts Tagged detention

Libya: Ukraine Seeks Libya ‘Mercenaries’ Release

Very interesting. So are these guys mercenaries or just oil workers? If anyone has anything to add to this story, feel free to do so in the comments. –Matt

 

Ukraine seeks Libya ‘mercenaries’ release
10 April 2012
Ukraine has said it is doing all it can to secure the extradition from Libya of 19 of its citizens accused of being pro-Gaddafi mercenaries.
The group, which also includes three Belarusians and two Russians, was formally charged on Monday, eight months after they were detained.
The 24 accused insist they were working as oil industry contractors.
One of the Russians has told the BBC that their release could already have been secured through diplomacy.
In a phone interview, Aleksandr Shadrov, 59, told the BBC Russian Service that they had all been in Libya purely to service oil rigging equipment and that a good lawyer would “easily refute the case”.
They deny the charges of preparing land-to-air missile launchers to shoot down planes taking part in the Nato-led mission to protect Libyan civilians.
The Russian embassy in Libya has told the BBC that it is doing all it can to secure the release of its citizens. Belarus says its three citizens had signed contracts to operate civil facilities in Libya and it is co-ordinating its efforts with the Russian and Ukrainian embassies.
The Ukrainian authorities said negotiations between Kiev and the Libyan authorities were already under way. A spokesman for the Ukrainian foreign ministry said a possible extradition of its 19 citizens was on the table, even though the two countries had no formal treaty.

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Iraq: Several Hundred Contractors Have Been Detained And Harassed In Iraq Since US Troop Withdrawal

“While private organizations are often able to resolve low-level disputes and irregularities, this issue is beyond our ability to resolve,” the International Stability Operations Association, a Washington-based group that represents more than 50 companies and aid organizations that work in conflict, post-conflict and disaster relief zones, said in a letter on Sunday to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Doug Brooks, president of the organization, said in a telephone interview that the number of civilian contractors who have been detained was in the “low hundreds.” 

Not good. I have received several emails from contractors working for different companies in Iraq that have said this is happening. Ever since that story came out about the Triple Canopy guys getting detained, similar deals have been happening to not only security contractors but all types of contractors and foreigners.

The thing here that I have to emphasize with Iraq is that they are going to do whatever they want. Of course the State Department is working on trying smooth this stuff out, but I just don’t see things moving fast with this one. So if Iraq wants to implement a campaign of ‘controlled harassment’, or they cannot control their various agencies and departments, then all contractors can do is either leave the country, or somehow work with the situation as best you can.

My message to Iraq is the same message I had for Afghanistan. Private investors and business is vital to the reconstruction and growth of your nation. What you are doing to these foreign investors and businesses, by poorly treating their security or workers, is in essence shooting yourself in the foot. Many of these companies are already taking a huge risk in a country that is still being attacked by enemies and ravaged by war. Iraq should be focused on creating peace and stability in their country, and not focused on insulting or detaining those that will eventually bring prosperity to their country.

The other thing that Iraq should know is that many of these contractors that they are harassing or looking down upon, are their own people. Just look at how many Iraqi contractors have been killed over the years, either as security contractors or as interpreters? Department of Labor puts those deaths at 1,560 and their sacrifice is just as significant as any Iraqi soldier or policeman’s sacrifice. (that number is just the DoL statistic, and I am sure it is way more than that if you count all the local Iraqi security companies over the years)

Either way, we will see how this develops and I encourage other contractors to keep contacting me about this or put a heads up in the comments section of posts like this one. Also, get your congressional representative involved, or whomever elected officials that represents you in whatever country you are from, and use that political leverage to help out your situation. That is what worked for the Triple Canopy guys at least, and definitely play it smart out there. –Matt

 

Flexing Muscle, Baghdad Detains U.S. Contractors
By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and ERIC SCHMITT
January 15, 2012
Iraqi authorities have detained a few hundred foreign contractors in recent weeks, industry officials say, including many Americans who work for the United States Embassy, in one of the first major signs of the Iraqi government’s asserting its sovereignty after the American troop withdrawal last month.
The detentions have occurred largely at the airport in Baghdad and at checkpoints around the capital after the Iraqi authorities raised questions about the contractors’ documents, including visas, weapons permits and authorizations to drive certain routes. Although no formal charges have been filed, the detentions have lasted from a few hours to nearly three weeks.
The crackdown comes amid other moves by the Iraqi government to take over functions that had been performed by the United States military and to claim areas of the country it had controlled. In the final weeks of the military withdrawal, the son of Iraq’s prime minister began evicting Western companies and contractors from the heavily fortified Green Zone, which had been the heart of the United States military operation for much of the war.
Just after the last American troops left in December, the Iraqis stopped issuing and renewing many weapons licenses and other authorizations. The restrictions created a sequence of events in which contractors were being detained for having expired documents that the government would not renew.
The Iraqi authorities have also imposed new limitations on visas. In some recent cases, contractors have been told they have 10 days to leave Iraq or face arrest in what some industry officials call a form of controlled harassment.

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