On Wednesday, Pope Francis denounced the “unimaginable hell” of migrant detention camps in Libya.
This came during the celebration of the seventh anniversary of Francis’ visit to the Sicilian island of Lampedusa to meet with migrants who had recently arrived from Libya.
This is where he first uttered his appeal for an end to the “globalization of indifference” that greets migrants across the world.
During his speech, the Pope recalled that he heard stories of suffering from the migrants he met on Lampedusa in 2013 and pointed out that his translator had only relayed a fraction of what the migrants had recounted.
“He gave me the distilled version,” Francis said of the translator, noting that this is often the case when the world hears of war and suffering in Libya.
Cases of rape, torture, and other widespread abuses in Libyan migrant centers have been extensively documented by the UN.
“You cannot imagine the hell that is being lived there,” Francis said, referring to Libyan detention camps as “lagers”.
The trip was Francis’ first pastoral visit outside Rome after his election.