Fresh Evidence of Violence at Libyan Detention Centers as Boats Turned Back


New evidence of starvation and abuses inside migrant detention centers has been collected from migrants inside seven facilities across Libya.

A report by Amnesty International comes less than a month after Médecins Sans Frontières announced it was suspending its operations at two centers in Libya because of increasing violence towards refugees and migrants.

Amnesty says it has more than 50 fresh accounts documenting severe beatings, sexual violence, extortion, and forced labor at the centers, used to house people who have been forcibly returned after trying to reach Europe across the Mediterranean.

In the report launched on Thursday, testimonies gathered between January 2020 and June 2021 allege that guards coerced women into sex in exchange for water and shot at detainees, causing deaths and injuries, while in one of the centers people were reportedly starving.

Thousands of refugees and migrants are held in detention centers across Libya, which are nominally run by the Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration (DCIM) and overseen by the ministry of the interior.

The centers in Libya have been the repeated focus of allegations of violence and abuse by UN bodies, human rights organizations, and charities. Libyan authorities have vowed to close DCIM centers rife with abuse, but human rights violations have continued unabated in newly opened or reopened centers, said Amnesty.

Read more here.

The Guardian