Citizens for Justice and Peace

EU governments complicit in abuse of refugees, migrants in Libya: Amnesty

12, Dec 2017

Amnesty International has released a report alleging that European governments “are knowingly complicit in the torture and abuse of tens of thousands of refugees and migrants detained by Libyan immigration authorities in appalling conditions”. Libya is the primary transit point for migrants attempting to reach Europe. However, after the EU has supplied funding, ships and training to Libya’s coastguard, arrivals in Italy, which is the primary destination for migrants traveling by boat, have dropped significantly. Amnesty has alleged that the Libyan coastguard is working with gangs and traffickers. Migrants and refugees caught by the coastguard are dispatched to detention centres operated by the country’s Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration (DCIM). Amnesty said around 20,000 are currently in these centres, and that it has testimony proving that officials, militias and traffickers have engaged in “torture, forced labour, extortion and unlawful killings”. Amnesty’s Europe Director, John Dalhuisen told the BBC that “European governments have not just been fully aware of these abuses; by actively supporting the Libyan authorities in stopping sea crossings and containing people in Libya, they are complicit in these abuses.”



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