The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor accused the Libyan authorities of detaining hundreds of Moroccan migrants in inhumane conditions without legal justification for months.
In statement on Tuesday, the European rights group said that authorities in Libyan prisons and detention centres were failing to provide hundreds of Moroccan detainees with adequate healthcare, food, or clean drinking water.
It added that unhealthy environments meant infectious diseases such as COVID-19 were spreading rapidly among detainees.
Al-Aweni Muhammad spoke to the Human Rights Monitor about his son Mustafa, 23, who was detained in April at a Libyan border guards checkpoint.
“My son was not subjected to a trial or due legal procedure. We received information that the Libyan authorities intend to deport them, but they are waiting for a real move from the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to transfer the detainees from Libya to Morocco,” Al-Aweni said.
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor called on the Libyan government to release all Moroccan migrants who are in their custody and “provide health care to those in dire need, especially COVID-19 patients”.
“The Libyan government is obligated in accordance with relevant international conventions and norms to treat these detainees with dignity, provide them with adequate shelter, and enable them to obtain their basic rights,” said Youssef Salam, legal researcher at the Monitor.
The rights group urged the Moroccan government to “cooperate actively with the Libyan authorities to end the suffering of hundreds of families who are always worried about the fate of their children.”
Moroccoan migrants travel by land to Libya where they plan to begin their journey across the Mediterranean sea towards Italy.
According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), at least 1,146 people died at sea while trying to reach Europe during the first half of 2021.