Asylum Seeker Commits Suicide in Libya


“We’re saddened by the suicide of asylum seeker, Mohamed Abdelaziz after years of suffering in detention,” the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said on Monday.

It added that torture in migrant detention centers in Libya, and ignoring asylum applications “create despair among these vulnerable people and prompt them to take harsh choices.”

It implored the Libyan authorities to “open an independent investigation into Abdelaziz’s suicide, stop all violent and discriminatory practices against detained migrants, end their illegal detention, and cooperate constructively with the relevant parties to end their suffering.”

“The basic rights of migrants and asylum seekers in Libya are gravely violated, affecting their lives and their physical and psychological integrity because of the practices of authorities in both the east and west of the country,” it noted.

The Monitor indicated that such practices include the Libyan Coast Guard’s violent interception methods. As well as the inhumane conditions in the prisons and detention centers run by the Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration.

Migrants face intolerable conditions in their home countries, pushing them to escape by any means, including paying large sums of money to brokers, smugglers, or gangs that put their lives at risk. The lack of legal and safe routes, and the complications surrounding seeking asylum in Europe and other countries encourage them to take these dangerous risks.

International laws and conventions related to the status of refugees view migrants as vulnerable groups, forced by unstable security and political or economic conditions to leave their country of origin to seek new refuge.

These agreements work to protect the rights of these groups on the humanitarian level in the first place, guarantee their rights in a way that does not harm the host country, and ensure states humanely deal with them.

In addition, migrant origin countries lack serious and effective measures to protect their nationals detained in Libya, or to monitor their legal status.

The researchers monitored the various Libyan agencies’ dealing with migrants, particularly the Coast Guard, prison administrations, and security forces.

It compared the rights guaranteed to migrants in relevant international charters and agreements to their actual treatment on the ground. It also made recommendations that – if adopted – will contribute to restoring human dignity and safeguarding the basic rights of migrants.

Notably, the conditions of migrants in Libya have deteriorated significantly since the beginning of 2021, especially after strict security measures were undertaken.

Due to its maritime borders with Malta and Italy, Libya constitutes the primary corridor for hundreds of thousands of migrants wishing to cross to Europe.