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Libya: Authorities round up migrants in fresh crackdown

August 16, 2022 at 10:42 am

Irregular migrants held by coast of guard forces in Misrata, Libya on April 24, 2022. [Hazem Turkia – Anadolu Agency]

Libyan authorities have raided accommodation where migrants are staying and arrested dozens in a fresh crackdown in the Tripoli Airport Road area.

It is likely that the migrants were taken to detention centres in the Libyan capital, reports ABC News, where they are likely to be mistreated.

Tarik Lamloum, who works for the Belaady Organisation for Human Rights, said it’s likely the crackdown took place to cover up the recent killing of two migrants working as rubbish collectors in the same area.

They died after being run over and dozens of migrants attended their funeral.

Whilst the Libyan authorities say publicly that they are cracking down on illegal migration and drug trafficking, many of the migrants in this area work for workshops and farms.

In October last year authorities said they were carrying out a security campaign against undocumented migration and drug trafficking and detained 5,000 migrants, including women and children, in one week.

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As thousands tried to escape an overcrowded detention centre, six were shot and killed by guards.

Following the crackdown, refugees and migrants pleaded to be evacuated from Libya, saying they could no longer stand the inhumane treatment they were subjected to.

Migrants and refugees in Libya are at risk of arbitrary detention, torture, sexual violence and extortion in Libya’s notorious detention centres.

Libya is a transit point for refugees attempting to reach Europe, but they are badly treated inside the country and often find it hard to leave.

Many are sold into slavery  or into the sex trade by people traffickers, or the Libyan authorities and forced to work without pay.

When and if they do manage to leave by boat, some are rounded up and sent back to Libya where they are detained in detention centres which are overcrowded, they have inadequate food, access to sanitation facilities and the women have been subject to sexual abuse.