The Address | Benghazi – Libya
LONDON – Amnesty International, a human rights organization, criticized in a statement on Monday the “deplorable” and “ruthless” policies of the European Union regarding its response to the migration crisis in the Mediterranean.
“Due to the ruthless policies of the EU states to prevent the arrival of thousands of men, women and children on European shores, they are trapped in Libya in deadlocked situations, exposed to terrible violations. This sadly adds to the deplorable inadequacy of the assistance provided by these States to enable refugees to secure themselves through regular channels.”
Amnesty reiterated that “migrants and refugees detained in Libyan detention centers are regularly subjected to torture, extortion and rape.”
Amnesty criticized repeated postponement of a promised UNHCR treatment center in Libya, “which would put up to a thousand refugees safe from detention centers where they are exposed to violations”, while adding, “this center would undoubtedly be a progress, but it would only help a small part of the imprisoned refugees and would not be a lasting solution.”
Amnesty said that, over the past two years, EU Member States have put in place a series of measures to block migration in the central Mediterranean “by concluding agreements with militias in Libya and hampering the work of NGOs conducting search and rescue operations.”
“Since the Central Mediterranean Sea is almost completely closed, and the Libyan authorities are illegally holding the refugees in detention and refusing to release them to UNHCR custody, evacuation to another country through United Nations-run programs is the only way out of Libyan detention centers.”
Amnesty also criticized Libya for its “intolerable detention policy”. The organization said,”the armed clashes that took place this year in Tripoli between August and September have also made the situation even more dangerous for refugees and migrants. People detained in detention centers were injured by stray bullets. It has also happened that prison guards run away to escape rocket fire by leaving thousands of detainees without food or water.”