Hundreds of migrants detained after mass arrests in Tripoli

Tuesday, January 11, 2022 — “More than 600 migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, peacefully demonstrating for relocation, protection, and evacuation from Libya were arrested and moved to Ain Zara detention center in the southern part of Tripoli, where hundreds of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are already detained in overcrowded cells and deprived living conditions.” explains Gabriele Ganci, Head of Mission for Médecins Sans Frontières in Libya. 

Republished with permission from MSF Southern Africa.

Women detained at female-only Sorman detention centre, around 60km west of Tripoli, Libya. Detainees receive irregular rations that are distributed once or twice day if not at all.

“During the weekly visit to Ain Zara to provide medical and mental health care to people detained, MSF teams have treated patients with stab wounds, beating marks, and signs of shock/trauma caused by the forced arrests. Among them there were people who had been beaten and separated from their children during the raids.“ he continues.  

From Libya to Israel, the African migrant faces a dire plight

Ellen van der Velden, Operations Manager for Médecins Sans Frontières in Amsterdam explains further: “Not only does this once again prove how migrants are subject to random and arbitrary detention – something that applies to virtually all migrants currently in Libya – but these people are additionally detained for speaking up for basic protection, safety and treatment in-line with humanitarian law.” 

Refugees in Zintan DC at the gate of the main warehouse where 700 of them were detained. A tuberculosis outbreak has likely been raging for several months in the detention centre and some wear masks for fear of contamination. The main warehouse was emptied in June 2019, and the remaining people distributed among the other buildings within the detention centre compound.

“Once again, we call on the Libyan authorities to halt the mass arrests. We also urge the same authorities to find dignified alternatives to detention, as well as calling on the EU to stop their efforts supporting the perpetration of an unending system of detention, abuse and violence in Libya “. she concludes.