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UNHCR Deeply Worried About The Condition of Migrants in Libya

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said 72 illegal immigrants have been rescued by the Libyan coast guard off the country’s western coast. It voiced concern over the deteriorating condition of thousands of illegal migrants in Libya.

The UNHCR revealed that, in addition to people held in trafficking camps, more than 2,000 refugees and migrants are being detained in official detention centers without judicial review.

UNHCR expressed its deepest condolences over the tragic death of a young Eritrean asylum-seeker in Tripoli this week and called for renewed action against smugglers and traffickers who continue to inflict unimaginable suffering to refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Libya.

“The man had arrived on 20 July at UNHCR’s Community Day Center in Tripoli seeking medical assistance, along with another Eritrean male. Both appeared to be severely malnourished. One was identified as needing urgent medical care and an ambulance was called. Regrettably, the individual passed away before it was possible to transport him to the hospital,” UNHCR said.

“Both men had previously been held by traffickers at Bani Walid, a town in northwestern Libya. It has been well-documented over recent years that criminal smuggling and trafficking groups operate in Libya, causing immense suffering and misery.

Since June, more than one hundred individuals have arrived in Tripoli from trafficking centers in Bani Walid. They are often in very poor physical condition and in dire need of assistance. UNHCR, sister agencies, and partners have provided medical care and support for basic needs to these victims. However, many are traumatized and require specialized medical care and psychosocial support that, in the current context, is difficult to provide in Libya,” it added.

A Libyan rights activist told Asharq Al-Awsat that flagrant violations, such as shortages of food and medicine and excessive use of force that sometimes lead to death, are reported at several detention centers.

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