Migrants killed in suspected Libya jailbreak


Libya detention centres

from AHMED ZAYED in Tripoli, Libya
TRIPOLI, (CAJ News) NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisations (NGOs) have condemned the killing of migrants by armed guards at one of Libya’s overcrowded detentions centres.

Six migrants were killed and at least 24 others injured at the Mabani detention centre in the capital Tripoli following a riot and an attempted escape this past weekend.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) condemned the killing and the use of live rounds against migrants protesting the horrendous conditions in detention.

“The use of excessive force and violence often resulting in death is a regular occurrence in Libyan detention centres,” said IOM Libya Chief of Mission Federico Soda.

The envoy said IOM staff who witnessed the fatal incident described injured migrants in a pool of blood lying on the ground.

“We are devastated by this tragic loss of life,” Soda said.

Before the shootings, more than 3,400 migrants, including 356 women and 144 children, were detained in Mabani.

Many had been arrested during the raids last week in the Gergaresh neighbourhood and were arbitrarily detained.

There are nearly 10 000 men, women and children trapped in grim conditions in official detention facilities in the North African country.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) last week reported the outbreak of tuberculosis and suspected cases of coronavirus at some detention centres.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) decried the humanitarian situation for asylum seekers and refugees.

“We continue to call on authorities to: respect at all times the human rights and dignity of asylum seekers and refugees, stop their arrests, and release those detained,” said Ayman Gharaibeh, UNHCR’s Middle East and North Africa director.

UNHCR appealed to the Libyan authorities to allow the resumption of humanitarian flights out of the country.

These have been suspended for almost a year.

“The flights have been a lifeline for asylum seekers and refugees in Libya,” Gharaibeh said.

– CAJ News


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