Immigrants drama in Libya

A leaked 13-page paper, distributed to key EU officials in September 2019 and obtained exclusively by the Guardian newspaper describes the dangerous conditions of the Libyan detention camps where migrants and refugees who were captured by the Libyan Coast Guard trying to reach Europe are held.

Some of these detention centres are described in the document as “alleged of having links to human trafficking”; that “suffer from overcrowding” and “poor conditions”, especially regarding sanitary facilities and food and water supply. Over 5,000 people are detained in such conditions, and about 3,700 of them are held in conflict areas, according to the document.

In 2018 Human Right Watch (HRW) interviewed 66 migrants in Libya and it accused EU institutions of sustaining a network of “inhuman” detention centres. The interviewees describe tortures by the guards and inhuman sanitary and food conditions, even in the case of nursing mothers or children.

HRW criticizes that although the European institutions know such conditions, the EU is providing support to the Libyan Coast Guard to intercept migrants at sea and keep them out of Europe. In October, Italy renewed a deal with Libya to provide training and resources to the Libyan coastguard and finance migrant centres, alongside the EU.

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