EU member-states are “knowingly complicit in the torture and abuse of tens of thousands of refugees and migrants detained by Libyan immigration authorities.”
This is stated in a new report published by Amnesty International (AI), titled, “Libya’s dark web of collusion: Abuses against Europe-bound refugees and migrants.”
The report accuses the EU of turning a blind eye “to allegedly brutal tactics of the Libyan coast guard and dangerous detention facilities,” Tanjug is reporting, citing AP.
The London-based human rights group also said that the Libyan coast guard “accepted kickbacks from smugglers to let migrant boats leave for Europe.”
“Footage, pictures and documents reviewed by Amnesty International indicate that a boat donated by Italy in April 2017, the Ras Jadir, was used by the Libyan Coast Guard during a horrific incident on 6 November 2017, where their reckless actions contributed to the drowning of up to 50 people,” AI said on its website.
“By supporting Libyan authorities in trapping people in Libya, without requiring the Libyan authorities to tackle the endemic abuse of refugees and migrants or to even recognize that refugees exist, European governments have shown where their true priorities lie: namely the closure of the central Mediterranean route, with scant regard to the suffering caused,” said John Dalhuisen, the group’s Europe director, and added:
“European governments must rethink their cooperation with Libya on migration and enable people to get to Europe through legal pathways, including by resettling tens of thousands of refugees. They must insist that the Libyan authorities end the policy and practice of arbitrary arrests and detention of refugees and migrants, immediately release all foreign nationals held in the detention centers, and allow the UNHCR to operate unhindered.”
“Overwhelmed by the arrival of more than one million migrants in 2015, the EU has worked with Libya and its neighbors to cut off the main migration route from Africa to Europe,” AP said it its report, adding that the strategy has including “training and equipping Libya’s coast guard to stop boats trying to make the dangerous Mediterranean Sea crossing.”
But the moves have trapped an estimated 20,000 migrants in Libya, where detention facilities are overcrowded and unsanitary, Amnesty International said, noting that the report was based on interviews with dozens of migrants and officials.