European Union’s policy helping Libya to stem migrant flow ‘inhuman’ says UN

Vastavam web: The European Union’s policy of helping the Libyan authorities intercept migrants in the Mediterranean and return them to “horrific” prisons in Libya is “inhuman”, the United Nations said today.”The suffering of migrants detained in Libya is an outrage to the conscience of humanity,” the UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a statement.Chaos-ridden Libya has long been a major transit hub for migrants trying to reach Europe, and many refugees and migrants have fallen prey to serious abuse there at the hands of human traffickers and others.
The UN rights office condemned the EU and Italy for helping the Libyan coast guard intercept migrant boats in the Mediterranean, despite concerns that this could condemn more migrants to detention, exposing them to torture, rape and forced labour.”Those detained have no possibility to challenge the legality of their detention, and no access to legal aid,” today’s statement said.According to Libya’s Department of Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM) 19,900 people were being held in facilities under its control in early November, up from about 7,000 in mid-September.
“The increasing interventions of the EU and its member states have done nothing so far to reduce the level of abuses suffered by migrants,” Zeid said, adding that his agency’s monitoring of the situation instead showed “a fast deterioration in their situation in Libya.” He said staff members had visited four DCIM facilities earlier this month and were “shocked” by what they saw.There were “thousands of emaciated and traumatised men, women and children piled on top of each other, locked up in hangars with no access to the most basic necessities, and stripped of their human dignity,” he said.