On Saturday, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (EuroMedHR) said that hundreds of Syrian migrants are being held in Libyan prisons.
The Geneva-based EuroMedHR announced that the Libyan Coast Guard arrested 800 Syrians while trying to migrate to Europe via the Mediterranean, over the past four months.
They were taken to four detention centres in Tripoli: al-Zawiya Prison, Abu Salim, Ain Zara, and Gout al-Shaal.
The Monitor added that several relatives of the detainees indicated that they live in horrible humanitarian conditions and are exposed to complex violations that affect their safety and dignity.
They also reported that after the Libyan Coast Guard intercepted their boats at sea, they were detained and assaulted. The detention centres in the capital, Tripoli, lack the most basic humanitarian requirements.
Today, EuroMedHR said in a statement, that an immediate intervention must be made to end these violations that jeopardize human dignity.
The Monitor stated that it had seen testimonies and photos published by former detainees, saying they were subjected to humiliation and did not receive suitable food or water.
The detainees are forced to pay sums of money amounting to more than $1,000 in exchange for their release, through a deal between brokers and the detention centres.
Former detainees also said that the administrations of the prisons and detention centres pursue a policy of medical neglect with detainees, especially those with chronic diseases, as they do not provide them with the necessary treatment.
This led to the death of at least one Syrian detainee and the deterioration of the health of many others.
Legal researcher at EuroMedHR Monitor, Youssef Salem, stressed that “the Libyan government is responsible for all the arbitrary practices that take place inside the prisons and detention centres it runs.”
“The government is also responsible for implementing the relevant local and international rules in dealing with detainees, and abiding by the international conventions it has ratified, including the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,” he added.
The Libyan government should open an urgent investigation into the detention conditions of hundreds of Syrian migrants, put an end to all arbitrary and illegal practices against them, and hold all those involved in these heinous violations accountable.