Mi­grant plight ‘in­hu­man’

Otago Daily Times - - WORLD -

GENEVA: The Euro­pean Union’s sup­port for the Libyan coast guard is lead­ing to the ar­bi­trary and in­def­i­nite im­pris­on­ment of mi­grants in ‘‘in­hu­man’’ con­di­tions, the UN hu­man rights chief said on Tues­day.

The EU anti­traf­fick­ing mis­sion Sophia has helped train Tripoli’s coast guard, while Italy has sup­plied it with four pa­trol boats.

So far in 2017, the Libyans have in­ter­cepted al­most 20,000 mi­grants at sea, ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion for Mi­gra­tion. Af­ter be­ing taken from the boats, they are put in ‘‘de­ten­tion cen­tres’’ that were vis­ited by UN per­son­nel.

‘‘Mon­i­tors were shocked by what they wit­nessed,’’ High Com­mis­sioner on Hu­man Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hus­sein said.

They saw ‘‘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’’.

Some 20,000 peo­ple are now be­ing held in fa­cil­i­ties con­trolled by Tripoli’s mi­gra­tion de­part­ment. — Reuters

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