Migration and mobility


In a report published on Thursday 15 July 2021, Amnesty International returned to the situation of migrants in Libyan detention centres. Denouncing the “atrocious” treatment suffered by migrants intercepted in the Mediterranean and forcibly sent to detention centres in Libya, with the “shameful” help of Europeans, the NGO called on the Libyan authorities to “immediately” close these centres.


Based on 53 testimonies, the report revealed that migrants are often subjected to rape, torture, forced labour, and kidnapping. Female migrants revealed that guards forced them to have sex “in exchange for food or their freedom.”


Diana Eltahawy, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International said that “this horrifying report sheds new light on the suffering of people intercepted at sea and returned to Libya, where they are immediately funnelled into arbitrary detention and systematically subjected to torture, sexual violence, forced labour and other exploitation with total impunity.”


“The report also highlights the ongoing complicity of European states that have shamefully continued to enable and assist Libyan coastguards in capturing people at sea and forcibly returning them to the hellscape of detention in Libya, despite knowing full well the horrors they will endure.” Amnesty International is calling on European states to suspend cooperation on migration and border control with Libya.