Amnesty: European gov’ts complicit in horrific abuse of refugees, migrants

BRUSSELS– European governments are knowingly complicit in the torture and abuse of tens of thousands of refugees and migrants detained by Libyan immigration authorities in appalling conditions in Libya, said the human rights organisation Amnesty International in a report published Tuesday.

The report titled ‘Libya’s dark web of collusion’ details how European governments are actively supporting a sophisticated system of abuse and exploitation of refugees and migrants by the Libyan Coast Guard, detention authorities and smugglers in order to prevent people from crossing the Mediterranean.

“Hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants trapped in Libya are at the mercy of Libyan authorities, militias, armed groups and smugglers often working seamlessly together for financial gain.

Tens of thousands are kept indefinitely in overcrowded detention centres where they are subjected to systematic abuse,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Europe Director.

“European governments have not just been fully aware of these abuses; by actively supporting the Libyan authorities in stopping sea crossings and containing people in Libya, they are complicit in these crimes,” he said.

The report notes that since late 2016, EU Member States – particularly Italy – have implemented a series of measures aimed at closing off the migratory route through Libya and across the central Mediterranean, with little care for the consequences for those trapped within Libya’s lawless borders.

Up to 20,000 people currently remain contained in these overcrowded, unsanitary detention centres So far, in 2017, around 19,452 people have been intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard, taken back to Libya and immediately transferred to detention centres where torture is rife.

Source: Kuwait News Agency