Libya’s migrants and refugees with tuberculosis ‘left to die’ in detention centres

© UNICEF/UN052682/Romenzi A migrant from Niger rests his hand on a gate inside a detention centre, in Libya, in 2017. He was arrested and detained before he was able to board a boat that was crossing to Italy.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Migrants and refugees suffering from tuberculosis are being left “effectively to die” in a Libyan detention centre south of Tripoli, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said on Friday, citing reports that those returned to shore by the coastguard have been disappeared or sold to traffickers.

Amid ongoing conflict in and around the capital, OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville expressed deep concern about the “ghastly conditions” in which migrants and refugees are being detained in the capital Tripoli and elsewhere.

He explained that at the Zintan facility south of Tripoli, 22 people had died of tuberculosis – which is preventable – and other illnesses since last September.

“Tuberculosis need not be a killer disease, but in these circumstances, clearly it is killing people and there must be a risk that more will die”, Mr. Colville said. “There’s another report that people are being sent to a different place near the front line effectively to die there, because they are Christians, and there are no burial facilities near Zintan.”

The development follows clashes in and around the outskirts of Tripoli, instigated by the self-styled Libyan National Army forces of General Khalifa Haftar, who leads a parallel administration in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Insisting that conditions at Zintan may amount to “inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment” and possibly torture, the OHCHR spokesperson expressed concern that other migrants have been sold into forced labour or to smugglers offering transit to Europe.

“We are also extremely concerned about ongoing reports of disappearances and human trafficking after people were intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard and taken back to Libya,” he said, in an appeal to the Government of National Accord to launch an investigation to locate those missing.

“The Libyan Coast Guard and the DCIM (Department for Combatting Illegal Migration) must ensure that they are accountable for every person held in detention, and that their human rights are respected”, Mr. Colville said. “We remind the Government that when a person dies in custody, there is a presumption of State responsibility…TB is clearly really a menacing threat in Zintan and it needs proper attention…proper medical care; and this is really a crisis.”

More than 2,300 people have been picked up in the Mediterranean Sea since 30 April and put in detention facilities, Mr. Colville noted, adding that the Libyan Coast Guard reported that it had delivered “hundreds” to a facility in Al-Khoms, which is under the oversight of the UN-recognized Government’s Department for Combatting Illegal Migration, or DCIM.

Of this number, more than 200 were delivered there on 23 May, but the Al-Khoms facility reported that it now has “only 30 migrants present, despite 203 been taken there just a couple of weeks ago”, he said.

In addition, Mr. Colville highlighted reports that some women have been sold for sexual exploitation – the latest in a long list of “horrific abuses to which migrants and refugees are subjected” in the troubled North African State.

Today, some 3,400 migrants and refugees are detained in Tripoli, according to OHCHR. “Libya has a heightened duty of care to protect the lives of individuals deprived of their liberty, including providing them with the necessary medical care,” Mr. Colville said.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

TTIP: why it is worth not to pull the covers over your head?

This is what CEOs around the world see as the biggest risks to business

Can privatisation be the panacea for the lack of growth in Europe?

The European Commission to stop Buffering

Security: better access to data for border control and migration management

Smart city experts should be looking to emerging markets. Here’s why

168 hours left for MEPs – ECOFIN Council to deliver a Banking Union

EU seeks foreign support on 5G from Mobile World Congress 2015 as the “digital gold rush” begins

The Chinese solar panels suddenly became too cheap for Europe

Young and unemployed the perfect victims of ‘vultures’

Miguel Arias Cañete European Commission

EU should invest more in climate and not sit back on its laurels and watch

‘Two pack’ austerity package in force but with less vigor

China Unlimited – The chinese tourism in Lisbon

Tackling Youth Unemployment

Close to final agreement on the EU Banking Union

5 trends in the global economy – and their implications for economic policymakers

Can Pakistan make its energy sector greener, cheaper and more reliable? The government thinks so

Brussels terrorist attacks: Schengen in danger once again while leaders gather Europe’s multiple broken pieces

In Rwanda, high-speed drones are delivering blood to remote communities

7 key challenges for the future of ASEAN – and how to solve them

Liaison Officer – 2020

3 ways we are making an impact on plastic pollution

80,000 youngsters at risk in DRC after forcible expulsion from Angola: UNICEF

UN warns of ‘deteriorating climate’ for human rights defenders in Guatemala

Paris, Washington, IMF against Berlin and ECB on money and interest

Trump asked Merkel to pay NATO arrears and cut down exports ignoring the EU

Coal addiction ‘must be overcome’ to ease climate change, UN chief says in Bangkok

EU’s guidelines on net neutrality see the light although grey areas do remain

Terrorist content online should be removed within one hour, says EP

European Citizens’ Initiative: A game of much publicity and one big lie

In the age of the tourism backlash, we need ‘destination stewards’

UN gears up emergency food aid for hurricane-struck region of Bahamas, as death toll rises

‘Going green’ is good business says private sector at UN’s COP24 climate conference

Syria: A bloody tracer of Trump – Putin rapprochement

Quicker freezing and confiscation of criminal assets in the EU

Germany fears that Americans and Russians want to partition Europe again

7 ways to break the fast fashion habit – and save the planet

Eurozone: The crisis hit countries are again subsidizing the German and French banks

What the Amazon rain forest tells us about globalization

5 things to know about the Western Balkans

Mental health at stake: A silent epidemic of 21st century

Trump ostracized by his party and world elites but still remains in course; how can he do it?

Parliament commemorates the victims of the Holocaust

Adriatic Sea: MEPs adopt multiannual plan for fisheries

G7 summit: Trump Vs. G6 leaders on trade and climate change

UN experts urge United Arab Emirates to release terminally ill woman to live her last days ‘in dignity’

Thousands flee fresh violence in South Sudan, many ‘suffering from trauma’

How UN cultural treasures helped set the stage for Game of Thrones

GSMA Announces Speakers for Mobile 360 – Russia & CIS 2018

This city is planting a tree for every man, woman and child

President Juncker temporarily transfers portfolio responsibilities following departure of two Members of the European Commission

The power of trust and values in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

‘Massive and protracted’ humanitarian crisis in DR Congo can be ‘beaten back’ if donors step up

Why cooperative and competitive federalism is the secret to India’s success

Can free trade deliver cheaper renewable energy? Ask Mexico

A for-profit project has improved nutrition in Rwanda – is it a model that can eliminate hunger across Africa?

G20: Less growth, more austerity for developing countries

Digital development: technology-enabled, but human-centric

3 charts that show the economics of European football

DR Congo: Strengthened effort against Ebola is paying off, but insecurity still major constraint – UN health agency

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s