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Amnesty International: Europe is complicit in the violations of the rights of illegal immigrants in Libya

Amnesty International has accused the European Union of breaching its human rights obligations and colluding with those who violate the rights of illegal immigrants in Libya.

In a report released on Tuesday the agency said that the Libyan authorities resorted to the detention of migrants in order to manage the issue of illegal immigration, stressing that the European Union is a partner in human rights violations. The EU was keen to provide support to Libya to prevent migrants from reaching Europe regardless of the abuses incurred.

The report detailed how migrants are being abused by Libyan officials, militias, and smugglers. Amnesty stressed that European countries, especially Italy, are fully aware of these violations.

Amnesty stated that 10,000 migrants had died trying to reach Europe, while half a million remained stranded in Libya; noting that some 20,000 migrants were currently being held in centers supervised by Libya’s illegal immigration agency.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimated the number of illegal migrants in Libya at more than 400,000 by the end of September, 60 percent of whom are of African nationalities.

Following public outcry, EU Ambassador Bettina Muscheidt visited the illegal immigration shelters on the airport and Tajoura road.

On Wednesday the European Union mission said that it was working “closely” with Libyan authorities, UN agencies, and countries of origin to improve the conditions of migrants in Libya. The mission explained that it was seeking to explore alternatives to the detention of migrants in Libya and to assist those who wished to return to their homes, according to the official page of the mission.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has called for the resettlement of 1,300 “vulnerable” migrants, in order to remove them from under the care of the shelters run by the illegal immigration agency in Libya.


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