Williams Calls for Release of Thousands of Detained Migrants

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On Monday, Stephanie Williams, the acting head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), called for the immediate release of thousands of detained migrants

During her intervention before the Human Rights Council in Geneva, she called for “the closure of the detention centres affiliated with armed groups, and others affiliated with the Ministry of Interior in Libya.”

Williams estimated the number of people displaced in Libya, as a result of the armed conflict, to be about 430,000. She noted that the numbers of dead and wounded have not been specified and pointed out that Libyans “aspire to justice and accountability for those responsible for serious crimes.”

On Saturday, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) called for urgent action to address the “dire situation” of migrants coming from Libya to Europe. It denounced the violence against migrants, who seek safety in Europe. The international organisation demanded that states “tackle the shocking conditions migrants face in Libya, at sea, and upon their reception in Europe.”

Germany is set to host an international conference on Libya, on Monday. The virtual talks will be attended by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, and representatives of 16 countries and international organisations.