Amnesty International: Horrific violations in Libya with Europe’s shameful role in migrants’ forced returns

Refugees grouped in Tajoura detention centre, around 25km West of Tripoli, a few hours after been rescued from the sea by Libyan Coast Guards. Tajoura, Libya, 7 August 2017.

Amnesty International has condemned what it has described as “horrific violations” being committed against immigrants returned to Libya with the cooperation of European states after trying to cross the Mediterranean.

The rights group said on Thursday that new evidence had emerged of “harrowing violations, including sexual violence, against men, women and children” intercepted at sea and forcibly returned to detention centers in Libya.

Amnesty International, in a 50-page report, condemned “the ongoing complicity of European states” for cooperating with the authorities in war-torn Libya.

It added that at the end of 2020, Libya’s Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration had “legitimized” abuses by taking over two detention centers run by armed groups from where hundreds of refugees and migrants had forcibly disappeared. One of these facilities is Tripoli’s Shara Al-Zawiya center, the report said.

“The findings come from interviews with 53 refugees and migrants, aged between 14 and 50, from countries such as Nigeria, Somalia and Syria, who were mostly still in Libya and had been able to flee camps or had access to telephones. Amnesty also examined documents, photos, and videos from Libyan authorities and the UN.” The report says.


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