Following the reinforcement of security measures on the Moroccan-Spanish border in the north of Morocco, a large group of Moroccans are now trying to enter Europe illegally through Libya. In August, 190 of them were sent home after being arrested in Libya, but many of them are now being held in the Libyan detention centers, according to Moroccan authorities.
As reported by the Associated Press, an official at the Foreign Ministry said several government departments are involved in the effort to bring the Moroccans home. “The operation takes time and involves several people, but we are working on it,” the official said, adding that authorities are holding meetings with the migrants’ families to reassure them.
U.N. monitors who visited Libya early in November found thousands of hungry men, women and children locked inside packed hangars. Many had been victims of torture, rape, forced labor, starvation and physical violence during their journeys and in Libyan detention centers. The report published online detailed the cruel conditions endured at the Libyan detention centers. The UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein called the conditions an ‘outrage’ to the conscience of humanity. The report had reestablished the concerns of the European support for Libya’s coast guards in stopping the migrants from crossing the sea towards Europe.
In a video, apparently recorded on Monday, a man identifying himself as a Moroccan national said some of his fellow countrymen at the center are having medical problems and complained that migrants of other nationalities had already been sent back to their homelands. “We are the only ones still here,” he said. He further explained that 232 Moroccans have been held for two months in Tripoli and are on a hunger strike to demand repatriation. The Moroccan man said, “no Moroccan official came, nor called … to inquire about our situation.” The video was reportedly recorded in an immigration detention facility in Tripoli. At the back of the crowded room where some are sitting, and others standing, a flag hanging on the rear wall is stamped with the name of the Libyan Ministry of Interior’s Department for Combating Illegal Immigration.