from AHMED ZAYED in Tripoli, Libya
TRIPOLI – THOUSANDS of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers detained in Libya are increasingly subjected to sexual violence, torture and forced labour perpetrated.
State officials, armed groups or human traffickers perpetrate the violations as fighting between the self-proclaimed Libyan Arab Armed Forces and the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) intensifies.
The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (GCR2P) raised concern at the plight of the victimised individuals, predominantly from the horn of Africa, West Africa and the Sahel regions.
Some of these have been intercepted at sea on their way to Europe.
The European Union and member states have generally supported the Libyan authorities’ efforts to intercept refugees and migrants at sea despite UN envoys declaring that Libya could not be considered a safe port for disembarkation.
According to a recent report by Amnesty International, more than 7 250 people have been returned from Europe to Libya so far this year.
It is also estimated that almost 400 migrants have died since January while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.
According to the UN, as of the end of July, at least 2 780 migrants and refugees were under detention at government-run centers in Libya.
More than 600 were children.
The risks to those in detention are particularly acute due to the ongoing armed conflict and deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, has called on Libyan authorities to close the ill-equipped detention centres.
Libya has suffered instability since Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and murdered in 2011.
– CAJ News