UN alarmed by treatment of migrants in Libya

UN alarmed by treatment of migrants in Libya

The United Nations visit to Libya announced on June 5th, that it was concerned by the treatment of migrants in Libya– citing arbitrary arrest and rising levels of hate speech and racist discourse, according to Reuters. 

Despite worsening conditions in Libya, the country is home to about half a million migrants. Though some migrants travel to Libya to work in the oil sector, others use Libya as a take-off point to migrate to Europe. 

READ: Eastern Libyan forces deport thousands of Egyptians

The UN reported that Libyan authorities have detained thousands of migrants from the streets and their homes, or following raids on alleged traffickers’ camps and warehouses.The UN went on to state that many of the migrants were being detained in unsafe and unsanitary conditions that were overcrowded and cramped. Additionally, Libyan authorities have expelled migrants en masse, including some who entered the country through legal means. 

Mohammed Ismail, a Sudanese metal worker, had illegally arrived in Libya and endured brutal treatment from traffickers. However, he managed to regularize his status with the authorities. The reports about deportations have worried him, he said, as his future in Libya is unstable.

READ: Breakthrough in Libya, envoys agree on steps to hold elections

In Tripoli, an Egyptian plumber who asked to remain anonymous because he feared reprisals, said many of his friends had been arrested.

“I’m frightened of detention, kidnapping, being held for ransom and forcible deportation … it’s difficult to survive in Libya,” he said.

Neither the Government of National Unity (GNU) in Tripoli nor authorities in eastern Libya immediately responded to requests to comment on the UN mission’s statement.



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