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Aid groups to suspend work in Libya over inhuman acts in detention centres

June 25, 2021 at 2:35 pm

A picture taken on August 17, 2019, onboard the ‘Ocean Viking’ rescue ship, jointly operated by French NGOs SOS Mediterranee and Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) in the Mediterranean Sea, shows a drawing of a torture scene in Bani Walid secret prison in northwest Libya made by a rescued migrant called Adam. [ANNE CHAON/AFP via Getty Images]

Following violence towards refugees and migrants held in two detention centres in the Libyan capital Tripoli,  Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders-MSF) announced on Tuesday that it will temporarily suspend its activities in Mabani and Abu Salim detention centres.

“This is not an easy decision to make, as it means we won’t be present in detention centres where we know people are suffering on a daily basis,” said Beatrice Lau, MSF head of mission in Libya.

“Until the violence stops, and conditions improve, MSF can no longer provide humanitarian and medical care in these facilities,” Lau added.

MSF calls for an end to the violence and improvement of conditions for refugees and migrants trapped inside Mabani and Abu Salim detentions centres.

Since February, incidents of ill-treatment, physical abuse and violence against people held in these detention centres have increased steadily, MSF reports.

According to the medical support group, over the space of just one week, MSF teams witnessed first-hand, and received at least three reports of, violent incidents resulting in severe physical and psychological harm.

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