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CNN slave market report is ill-founded, Libyan human rights group says

Human Rights Solidarity (HRS) has expressed deep concern over the mistreatment and abuse of migrants in Libya by human traffickers amid claims of being sold as slaves in “public auction”.

In a statement on Friday, the HRS, called on the Presidential Council government to carry out a full investigation into the alleged trade auctions to ensure that all suspected perpetrators are held responsible.

The HRS said that at the same time it condemns these abuses, it is also concerned about the irresponsible statements that were included in the CNN report that could even put Libyan lives at risk.

The HRS said it had inspected and monitored conditions of detention centers located in several parts of the country for over a year, and despite some serious violations, the claims that slave marketing were common and held in public were baseless.

“Our reports have been forwarded to the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and for some cases, the OHCHR was alerted to help. In several communications and meetings with OHCHR staff, HRS asked OHCHR to press IOM staff to sit and talk to the detained migrants, especially the most vulnerable, women and unaccompanied minors, but so far, the IOM staff does not go inside the centers and hear from these stranded people their needs and concerns”. The statement reads.

The problems noted by the HRS of the migrants in the detention centers included the shortage of food, water and health care, in addition to the untrained guards who have no knowledge on how to run such centers.

It called on all parties to assume their responsibilities towards migrants in countries of source, destination and transit.

The HRS said it does not promote proposal of the EU to set up asylum processing centers in Libya as it will just add further suffering to migrants and mount up Libya’s problems.

“The plan of the European Union to set up processing centers in Libya to process applications for asylum and migration will only lead to trapping more migrants in Libya, in a country facing tremendous security, political, social and economic challenges”. The HRS statement further indicated.


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