EU Ministers Should Call Upon Libya To Halt Migrant Detention Centers- Human Rights Groups - The Libyan Report

EU Ministers Should Call Upon Libya To Halt Migrant Detention Centers- Human Rights Groups

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 13th July, 2019) EU foreign ministers during their upcoming meeting in Brussels should issue an urgent call to the Libyan authorities to close the migrant detentions centers and to evacuate the most vulnerable people from these centers, prominent human rights groups said on Friday.

"Expressions of outrage over dire conditions and dangers to detainees amid fighting in Tripoli ring hollow without urgent life-saving measures to get people out of harm's way. EU governments should offer concrete support to Libyan authorities to close all migrant detention centers and take immediate action to help evacuate those most vulnerable and at risk," Judith Sunderland, associate Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch (HRW), said.

The HRW's appeal was backed by Amnesty International and the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) group.

"Rather than keeping their eyes closed in the face of the inhuman conditions, torture, rape and other abuse refugees and migrants face in Libya's detention centers, EU governments should urgently set up safe routes out of Libya for them, and ensure that people rescued in the central Mediterranean are not returned to Libya," Matteo de Bellis, researcher on migration and asylum at Amnesty International, said.

ECRE Secretary General Catherine Woollard stressed that "an agreement among European states is urgently needed" in order to tackle the situation in Libya.

Libya has turned into an unstable state torn between militias and central government since the Western-backed toppling of Muammar Gaddafi back in 2011. In 8 years country has become the last stop on the dangerous route to Europe for migrants fleeing war, persecution, and poverty in Africa and the middle East. Due to the ongoing political chaos people smugglers thrive in the country.

The tensions flared up in April when the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, launched an offensive to retake the Libyan capital of Tripoli from forces loyal to the GNA. In one of the offenses, an LNA airstrike on a migrant detention center near Tripoli left dozens dead and over a hundred injured.

On Thursday, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration said in a joint statement that all 5,600 refugees and migrants who remain in detention centers throughout Libya should be released or transferred to other countries amid ongoing fighting. source