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  • World - Africa
  • Updated: January 19, 2022

12,000 Detainees Held Across Prisons In Libya – United Nations

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Quadri Adejumo
Quadri Adejumo

Quadri Adejumo is a reporter, sports column writer, opinion and profile writer. He tweets via @...

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The United Nations (UN) has declared in a new report that over 12,000 detainees are being held officially in 27 prisons and detention facilities across Libya.

It added that a thousand more are being held illegally in facilities controlled by armed groups.

According to Africanews, the latest report by the United Nations' Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, disclosed, “The U.N. political mission in Libya known as UNSMIL continues to document cases of arbitrary detention, torture, sexual violence and other violations of international law in facilities operated by the government and other groups.

“Thousands of detainees who do not appear in the official statistics provided by Libyan authorities are unable to challenge the legal basis for their continued detention.

"I remain gravely concerned by the continuing violations of the human rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Libya.

"Female and male migrants and refugees continued to face heightened risks of rape, sexual harassment and trafficking by armed groups, transnational smugglers and traffickers as well as officials from the Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration, which operates under the Ministry of Interior."

Guterres added that widespread arbitrary detention of migrants and refugees continued, including those rescued or intercepted trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe and returned to Libya by the Libyan Coast Guard.

He said; “As of December 14, the Coast Guard stopped 30,990 migrants and refugees and returned them to Libya, that’s almost three times the total number of people returned in 2020. More than 1,300 people have died or disappeared while attempting the journey.”

Libya has in recent years emerged as the dominant transit point for migrants fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East, hoping for a better life in Europe.

The route through Libya to Italy is characterised by mixed migratory flows, whereby refugees and migrants use the same routes and methods to arrive at their intended destination.

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Quadri Adejumo
Quadri Adejumo

Quadri Adejumo is a reporter, sports column writer, opinion and profile writer. He tweets via @...

More From this Author

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