on migrants in Libya “state abuse”

on migrants in Libya

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Even those from Libya who would like to leave are not left alone. Every dark-skinned human being is a potential source of enrichment, as well as a weapon of pressure on European governments, which for years have succumbed to the blackmail of Libyan militias. Take Ahmed, who had a place to stay and a job near Tripoli. He arrived there in 2017 to stay away from al-Shabaab fanatics in Somalia. “One night at 3 in the morning some criminals entered our house. They beat my wife. I reacted. They stabbed me in the leg and said, “If you move, we’ll shoot her.” They kidnapped us and took us to a hangar ”. To free them they asked for “20,000 dollars per person. There were 16 or 17 prisoners in the hangar: Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia. We stayed about 15 days. They beat us. When you arrive they undress you, beat men and rape women. After two weeks, I took a chance and ran away. ”

Between May and September 2020, Amnesty International collected information on the conditions of detention in at least 13 places of detention across Libya. Among them were six detention centers DCIM, the government’s Department of Illegal Immigration. The content of the investigation is reported in a new one report entitled “Between life and death” (GO TO DOCUMENT), published one day after the announcement by the European Commission of its new “Pact on Immigration”, which is based on an even closer cooperation with states outside the European Union to control migratory flows.

In the latest Amnesty International dossier there are not only the testimonies from the clandestine prisons, above all there are the evidence collected in the field and nailing the official authorities. Investigations conducted by cross-referencing the data: “After obtaining screenshots from prisoners showing their real-time location on Google Maps, Amnesty International examined satellite images of GPS coordinates and identified the location in the city of al Zawiyah, 45km away. west of Tripoli, with a strong presence of military vehicles ”. An independent source confirmed that the location identified as the prison “is the headquarters of the support forces of al Zawiyah. Some inmates managed to escape a few weeks ago and confirmed the acquisitions: “They were kept in horrible conditions without enough food or drinking water and beaten regularly. Their kidnappers asked for a ransom of 6,000 Libyan dinars ”, about 4 thousand euros.

It is not the only one confirmation of the direct involvement of public officials in human trafficking. “Two men on whom an arrest warrant from the Libyan authorities hangs and whose names appear on the list of persons subjected to sanctions by the United Nations for their alleged involvement in human trafficking, are officially linked to the GNA (the recognized government of Tripoli, ed): Ahmad al-Dabbashi, called “al-Amou”, was seen fighting with the GNA forces in April 2020, while the well-known Abdurhaman al Milad, called “al Bija”, is the commander of the Libyan coast guard at the refinery of the port city of al-Zawiya ”.

To the gallery of horrors recounted on several occasions by refugees and migrants in Libya, “there are also disturbing developments – he comments Riccardo Noury, Amnesty’s spokesperson in Italy -, such as the transfer of people intercepted at sea to unofficial detention facilities. ” Faced with all this, “the new EU Pact on migration and asylum and the Italy-Libya memorandum of understanding exemplify exactly everything that should not be done in terms of cooperation with Libya”.

The collected documentation also validates what has been revealed several times by Future, in Paolo Lambruschi’s investigation into the Bani Walid “lager”, where “I was beaten, I was prevented from eating and drinking so often that I was no longer able to walk”, said a fugitive also visited by doctors of international organizations.

“It should also be noted that, in the wake of the Italian model, Frontex and Eunavfor Med have increased cooperation with the so-called Libyan coastguard, notifying them – complains Noury ​​- most of the rescues detected by the aircraft assets and in fact moving the few relevant ships remained well outside the areas with the highest probability of rescue ”.

In 2020, thousands of refugees and migrants ended up in official detention centers, thousands of others were subjected to enforced disappearance. Desaparecidos del Mediterraneo intercepted by European military vehicles and captured, on the instructions of the latter, by the so-called Libyan coast guard.


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