Don’t send refugees to Libyan torture jails, United Nations says

This Doctors Without Borders video says about itself:

5 Reasons Not to Trap Migrants & Refugees in Libya

13 September 2017

People who’ve left their homes searching for safety and a better life are being detained, imprisoned, tortured, raped, starved, and sold into slavery in Libya.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV, 14 November 2017:

UN: sending refugees back to Libya is inhuman

The United Nations refugee organization UNHCR has strongly criticized the European Union policy to assist the Libyan Coast Guard in intercepting boats with refugees.

There is not one Libyan Coast Guard, as there is not one Libyan government. There are at least three governments, each with their own armed gangs, killing each other’s gangsters and civilians. Some of them call themselves ‘the coast guard’. Some are paid by European Union taxpayers’ money, some by Italian taxpayers’ money, some by British taxpayers’ money, etc.

Human rights chief Zeid calls the way in which the refugees are detained in Libyan prisons inhuman and an insult to the conscience of humanity. He says that the situation has deteriorated considerably in recent times. “It was bad, but now it is catastrophic.”

In February, the EU signed an agreement with the government in Libya.

In exchange for around € 200 million, the Libyan Coast Guard must intercept ships in the Mediterranean and return them to land. The fact that the agreement does not contribute to the well-being of refugees has already been concluded by aid organizations, including Médecins Sans Frontières.


Employees of the UNHCR were in Libya last week. They spoke to people who were detained in Tripoli. “They were shocked by what they saw,” said Zeid. “Thousands of emaciated and traumatized men, women and children piled up on each other, trapped in hangars without access to the most basic provisions and stripped of their human dignity.”

According to the Libyan authorities, almost 20,000 refugees are now in prison. The UNHCR points out that they have no possibility to challenge their imprisonment and say they do not receive legal assistance. “Everything the EU has done so far has not helped to reduce abuses.”

This June 2017 video is called Rescued African migrants say they are fleeing slavery.

27 thoughts on “Don’t send refugees to Libyan torture jails, United Nations says

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