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Monday, January 17, 2022

NGO’s Decry Tragic Conditions of Migrants in Libya

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) stated that most migrants in Libya complain about the lack of healthcare and services, while Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) indicated that 600 migrants that were recently arrested are suffering dire conditions.

The IOM pointed out that there are more than 620,000 migrants, with three quarters of them spoke of limited income or lack of access to healthcare, especially emergency services.

In a recent report, MSF described the violence against migrants in Tripoli who were rounded-up this week. MSF managed to enter the Ain Zara prison camp in Libya, where it claimed that people had been beaten and children separated from their parents during the crackdown.

Simultaneously, the Italian authorities ordered the ‘detention’ of the humanitarian ship SOS Mediterranee and the Ocean Viking.

“More than 600 people, who were protesting peacefully for protection and to ask to be evacuated from Libya, were arrested and transferred to the Ain Zara detention center in the south of Tripoli. Hundreds of migrants and refugees are already being held in this facility in overcrowded cells,” said Gabriele Ganci, Head of mission of MSF in Libya.

“During the weekly visit to the center, where we offer medical care and psychological support, the MSF team treated people with stab wounds, beatings and people traumatised by forced arrests.” Among them also parents “who were beaten and separated from their children during the event,” Ganci added.

In total, doctors treated 68 people injured during the mass arrest, seven of whom had to be transferred to hospital, while 190 were offered psychological support.

Dozens of men in black uniforms raided the migrant camp, dragging them out by force. “What happened shows, once again, how in Libya all migrants are subjected to random and arbitrary detention, even those who ask for protection and treatment in line with humanitarian law”, says Ellen van der Velden, Director of MSF operations.

“Once again, we ask the Libyan authorities to stop the mass arrests and find dignified alternatives to detention. We also ask the EU to stop all support for the endless system of detention, abuse, and violence in Libya,” Ellen stated. Over the past two months, MSF teams have been allowed to travel to the detention center once a week in mobile clinics.

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