“Migrants have been extremely vulnerable to human rights abuses and regularly subjected to acts of slavery, rape and torture” in Libya, according to a recent United Nations report obtained by The Associated Press.
Egregious rights abuses at both official and secret detention facilities
The report documents the human rights abuses inflicted on four migrants who were being held by traffickers in secret detention facilities in Tazirbu and Bani Walid. Having enslaved their victims, the traffickers inflicted serious physical abuse on them, starved them, and refused them medical assistance.
Two former female detainees, who were 14 and 15-year-old girls at the time, further testified to the panel that multiple perpetrators repeatedly raped them, subjected them to sexual slavery and other forms of sexual violence during the period of over 18 months in a secret detention facility in Bani Walid.
People being held in government-run detention centers are also facing routine violence and neglect. The report found that guards engaged in or enabled the rape and sexual exploitation of women and girls held at the official Shara al-Zawiya center between January and June 2021.
Tell the E.U. to end this exploitation
In spite of the ample evidence of egregious human rights abuses against migrants and refugees in Libya, the European Union continues to support Libyan authorities to return people intercepted in the Mediterranean to the country.
The Freedom United community, together with partners, is calling on the E.U. to stop facilitating the enslavement of people in Libya. We’re urging Member States to push for the closure of all detention centers in Libya, the release and evacuation of everyone being held there, and the setting up of an alternative disembarkation and relocation mechanism which can secure the safety of people fleeing this abuse and exploitation.
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