Migrant plight ‘inhuman’
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