Demand Libya stop the detention and sale of migrants

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Torture, rape, and detention are the reality for many refugees and migrants in Libya


Horrific conditions for 20,000 migrants held in detention centres

Torture, detention, exploitation and rape are daily horrors for many refugees and migrants in Libya. Instead of stopping these abuses, Europe is helping Libya to trap people in slave-like conditions. By training and providing the Libyan coastguard with ships to transport migrants back to the country, European leaders are complicit in the tragic fate of migrants and refugees seeking to leave Libya.

Below: Footage, pictures and documents reviewed by Amnesty International indicate that a boat donated by Italy in April 2017, the Ras Jadir, was used by the Libyan Coast Guard during a horrific incident on 6 November 2017, where their reckless actions contributed to the drowning of up to 50 people.

As many as 20,000 migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are being held in detention centres, at the mercy of militias and armed groups, with no sense of when or if they will ever be released. They face inhumane conditions - with little access to food, water or medical care - and brutal treatment, including torture, rape – and even being sold.


Call on Libyan and European leaders to protect migrants and refugees from horrific human rights abuses.

Learn more:

Responsibility for surging death toll in Central Mediterranean laid squarely at Europe's door - Aug 8, 2018

Blog: Tortured, raped and sold: We must protect refugees from terrible human rights abuses in Libya
 - Dec 15, 2017

Libya: European governments complicit in horrific abuse of refugees and migrants  -Dec 12, 2017

Report: Libya's dark web of collusion - Dec 12, 2017



Dear Prime Minister of Libya Fayez Al-Sarraj and President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker,

I am writing to express my grave concern regarding the shocking reports of abuses of migrants and refugees in Libya.

More than 20 000 migrants and refugees are currently being held in Libya in official detention centers run by militias and armed groups loosely affiliated with the Government. These militias and armed groups are holding these migrants and refugees in horrific conditions, without access to food, water or medication. They constantly commit the most appalling abuses, including torture, extortion, bonded labour and sexual assault.

I’m deeply worried that by training, equipping and supporting the Libyan coastguard, Europe is trapping migrants and refugees in Libya and fuelling these abuses.

Confining people in cruelty cannot be a solution, therefore I urge you to:

•    Release all migrants and refugees currently in detention centers and end the arbitrary detention of refugees and migrants in Libya.

•    Investigate all allegations of torture and other ill-treatment of refugees and migrants in Libya, and ensure that the suspected perpetrators are prosecuted in a transparent and fair trial to put an end to the vicious cycle of abuse.

•    Review your respective migration policies to ensure that the human rights of refugees and migrants are always protected.

•    Formally recognize the UNHCR and allow the organization to carry out its full mandate including the protection of asylum seekers and refugees.


Yours sincerely,