Amnesty slams five years of EU-Libya migrant deal

Amnesty slams five years of EU-Libya migrant deal |

An EU-Libya deal under which migrants desperate to reach Europe are turned back and held in “hellish” conditions must be ended, Amnesty International said on Monday (31 January), the pact’s fifth anniversary.

The rights organisation said that, over those five years, more than 82,000 people had been returned to Libya to face “arbitrary detention, torture, cruel and inhuman detention conditions, rape and sexual violence, extortion, forced labour and unlawful killings”.

Amnesty and other critics slam the agreement to outsource the EU’s border policing duties to Libya, resulting in a travesty for Europe’s human rights record given the documented abuses.

The cooperation is a series of deals struck since 2016, including EU funding and assistance of the Libyan coast guard, which intercepts migrants in boats to haul them back to land.

Amnesty slams five years of EU-Libya migrant deal |

Amnesty says migrants in Libyan camps forced to trade sex for clean water

Amnesty International said on Thursday (14 July) that migrants held in Libyan detention camps are subject to horrific sexual violence at the hands of guards, including being forced to barter sex for clean water, food and access to sanitation.

The report, …

“These arrangements… have since enabled Libyan authorities to disembark people intercepted at sea in Libya, although it is being unlawful to return anyone to a place where they face serious abuse,” Amnesty said in a statement.

The “impunity” that reigns in Libya was manifested by the appointment of a head of a detention centre where abuses had been documented to become chief of a government department tasked with fighting illegal migration, it added.

“It is high time to put an end to this callous approach, which shows a complete disregard for people’s lives and dignity. Instead, rescue efforts must ensure people are taken to a place of safety,” one of its migration and asylum researchers, Matteo de Bellis, said.

The European Commission argues that the Libyan coast guards “contribute to saving lives” and are meant to operate only in Libyan territorial waters. Brussels says it has sent “very firm messages” to Libya to close its migrant detention centres.

Libya became a central launching-off point for predominantly African migrants trying to reach Europe in the wake of a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 in which dictator Moamer Kadhafi was toppled and killed.

Amnesty slams five years of EU-Libya migrant deal |

NGO: Human lives at stake as Italy blocks migrant rescue ship

Delays caused by the blocking of the Ocean Viking rescue ship by Italian port authorities have put human lives at stake, Julia Schaefermeyer, communications officer at SOS Mediterranean, the NGO that charters the vessel, has told EURACTIV.

The country has been gripped by violence and insecurity, and two main factions are vying for control –a UN-backed government in Tripoli, and a military strongman, Khalifa Haftar, and his forces who rule the east.

A presidential election meant to have taken place on 24 December, followed by legislative polls, has been postponed.

Amnesty slams five years of EU-Libya migrant deal |

Women migrants reduced to sex slaves in Libya 'hell'

For Aisha, sexual slavery was something you only heard about happening to others in television reports, until she found herself locked in a living “hell” in Libya.


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