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Libyan government detaining African migrants arbitrary for a profitable business - Leaked EU report

Men outdoors at Abu Salim Detention Centre, Libya | ® Robert Y. Pelton/MOAS.eu

The EU has admitted in a leaked report that it cannot monitor the Libyan coastguard and that the detention of migrants is a “profitable business model” for Libya’s government, with whom it has recently renewed a controversial deal to stem migration to Europe.

The report details the fate of refugees fleeing for Europe who are being picked up by the Brussels-backed coastguard and put in official and unofficial detention camps in dire and dangerous conditions.

The report says,

  • There is no record of the numbers of detention camps but estimates of the number of official and unofficial facilities range from 17 to 35, some of which are said to be run by the militia. More than 5,000 people are being held and about 3,700 of those are located in “conflict areas”.

  • A number of the detention centres “are alleged of having links to human trafficking” and “there is no proper registration system for migrants”. “Serious cases of corruption and bribery in the centres have been detected,” the EU paper says.

  • EU officials are not allowed onshore to monitor the makeup or activities of the Libyan coastguard to the “security challenges”.

  • The government in Libya has failed to improve the situation in the camps or deal with the regular reports of “disappearances” of people picked up by the Libyan coastguard. “The government’s reluctance to address the problems raises the question of its own involvement”, the paper says.

  • The “reluctance of officials to cooperate is closely linked to the widely reported human rights violations that take place in the detention centres and to the fact that the facilities form a profitable business model for the current Libyan government”. According to humanitarian organizations, detainees are coerced by camp officials into asking relatives to pay for their release.

  • At least 53 men, women and children were killed and 130 injured in July when a detention facility near Tripoli, in which 644 migrants and refugees had been detained, was bombed. The bombed-out centre was then swiftly refilled with people provided by the Libyan coastguard.

  • The detention camps “suffer from overcrowding and the conditions are poor. In particular, there are difficulties in relation to sanitary facilities and food and water supply. Severe human rights violations have been widely reported”.

Countless African migrants are dying in the desert, being sold on slave markets, being tortured, raped and starved in Libyan detention camps.

Source: The Guardian

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