The Italian Organisation Doctors for Human Rights (MEDU) announced in its latest report that more than 660 thousand migrants had reached Italy from Libya during the period between 2014 and 2020.
It found that 85% of those migrants and refugees had been subjected to torture, violence, or inhumane and degrading treatment in Libya.
Two-thirds had reportedly been detained. Almost 50% had been kidnapped or nearly died. Nine out of ten said they had watched someone die, be killed, or tortured.
In interviews conducted by MEDU, the migrants said they were subjected to forced labor or conditions of slavery for months or even years.
The number of migrants arriving in Italy from Libya by crossing the Mediterranean Sea has decreased significantly in recent years. According to MEDU, about 504 thousand people disembarked in Italy between 2014 and 2017, whereas 153 thousand arrived in the following three years. The latter equates to a decrease in migration of about 70%.
MEDU called on Italy and the EU to stop cooperating with Libyan authorities and to resettle the migrants and refugees from Libya.
“Survivors’ accounts describe Libya as a country that has turned into a sort of large system of exploitation of migrants and refugees, [becoming] one of the main sources of income; a country where crimes against humanity are committed in a systematic way and on a large scale like few others in the contemporary age,” MEDU concludes in the report.