141 refugees released from detention in Libya: UNHCR

TRIPOLI, LIBYA - MAY 13: People wait in line to get cleaning materials and food aid provided by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for irregular migrants and asylum seekers within the holy month of Ramadan in Tripoli, Libya on May 13, 2020. (Photo by Hazem Turkia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
TRIPOLI, LIBYA – MAY 13: People wait in line to get cleaning materials and food aid provided by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for irregular migrants and asylum seekers within the holy month of Ramadan in Tripoli, Libya on May 13, 2020. (Photo by Hazem Turkia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has said it secured the release of 141 refugees from detention in western Libya.

“UNHCR secured last week the release from detention of 141 refugee men, women and children,” the UN agency said.

“They were held at Suq Alkhamees detention center, 140 km East of Tripoli, some of them for over a year. UNHCR provided them with relief items, food packages, and medical checkups,” it said.

Thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, chose to cross the Mediterranean from Libya towards Europe, due to the state of insecurity and chaos in the North African nation following the overthrow of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Immigrant shelters in Libya are crowded with thousands of immigrants either rescued from the sea or arrested by the Libyan security forces, despite international calls to close those centers.

The agency said that there are 45,661 registered refugees and asylum-seekers currently in Libya