EU Complicit in Human Rights Abuses in Libya

Frederick Owens
December 13, 2017

According to a report entitled "Libya's Dark Web of Collusion", the global watchdog said that European governments are "actively supporting" a "sophisticated system" of abuse against migrants in coordination with the Libyan coast guard.

In a 66-page report - Libya's dark web of collusion - Amnesty shows how European governments are actively supporting a system of abuse of refugees and migrants by the Libyan Coast Guard, the detention authorities in Libyan and smugglers operating in the country.

Amnesty's report shows the Libyan Coast Guard - with the support of European Union countries and even an Italian-donated boat - have intercepted refugees and migrants at sea, returning them to detention centres run by the country's Department for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM).

Determined to cut African immigration across the Mediterranean, the governments, via the European Union, have provided support to Libya, trained its coastguard and spent millions of euros through United Nations agencies to improve conditions in detention camps where Libya puts the migrants. "As a outcome the spotlight is finally on the human rights situation in Libya".

"Despite being fully aware" of the problem, "European governments have [implemented] migration-control policies that, by reinforcing the capacity and commitment of Libyan authorities to stop sea crossings, are trapping thousands of women, men, and children in a country where they are systematically exposed to abuse and where they have little chance to seek and obtain protection", according to the report.

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"Extra-judicial killings, slavery, torture, rape, human trafficking and starvation are only some of the abuses reportedly inflicted on migrants in both official and informal detention centres", he added.

The report suggested that up to 20,000 people are now being held in Libyan detention centers for migrants, where they face torture, forced labor, extortion, and even unlawful killings.

Refugees and migrants intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard are sent to detention centres run by Libya's general directorate for combating illegal migration (DCIM).

"EU countries should not feign shock or outrage when the human cost of these deals is laid bare", the report said. This approach received the complete backing of other European governments.

"Italy moved (to address the Mediterranean migrant crisis), it reached a bilateral deal with Libya, it obtained results", Gentiloni said as he reported to the Senate ahead of this week's European Union summit.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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