Libyan Treatment of Refugees, Migrants, and Asylum-Seekers

Libya has had an appalling record of mistreating refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers, both before and after the Libyan civil war. Muammar al-Gaddafi, the deposed dictator of Libya, had a nascent and unshakeable relationship with Italy and its former voluptuary Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi. The strategic relationship grew after a formal apology from Italy and reparations worth 5 billion USD. Italy’s stake in this expensive outreach efforts was to prod Libya to aggressively impede their illegal migration flows to Italy. This in turn lead to several human rights abuses of migrants who were captured either by Libyan or Italian security personnel. More details about these events can be found in the Human Rights Watch’s report, “Pushed Back, Pushed Around: Italy’s Forced Return of Boat Migrants and Asylum Seekers, Libya’s Mistreatment of Migrants and Asylum Seekers.”

Below is a recent article discussing Libyan’s treatment of refugees:

“Libya: Refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants held indefinitely in deplorable conditions,” by Amnesty International:

The Libyan authorities must act immediately to end the indefinite detention of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants, including children, solely for immigration purposes, Amnesty International said in a new briefing published today, 20 June 2013, World Refugee Day.

The briefing, Scapegoats of Fear: Rights of Refugees, Asylum-Seekers and Migrants Abused in Libya, highlights the unacceptable treatment of thousands of foreign nationals, many from sub-Saharan Africa, who are subjected to arbitrary arrests and held for long periods in deplorable conditions at immigration detention facilities described by the Libyan authorities as “holding centres”, with no immediate prospect of release or redress in sight.

Amnesty International visited seven “holding centres” in April and May this year and found evidence of ill-treatment, in some cases amounting to torture. Many detainees were also denied medical care and some were slated for deportation on medical grounds…

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