UN Refugee Agency urges Libya to address dire situation of asylum-seekers, refugees

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Illegal migrants stand after being brought to shore by a Libyan coast guard at the Mediterranean Sea, in Garaboli Libya, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. (Yousef Murad)
Migrants stand after being brought to shore by a Libyan coast guard at the Mediterranean Sea, in Garaboli, Libya on October 18, 2021. /CFP

The United Nations Refugee Agency has urged the Libyan government to immediately address the dire situation of asylum-seekers and refugees in a humane and rights-based manner.

The UNHCR said in a statement on Friday that targeted raids by Libyan authorities in areas largely populated by refugees and asylum-seekers resulted in several deaths, with thousands detained, and many left homeless and destitute.

“Since the start of the security raids and arrests by the Libyan authorities in October, we have witnessed a sharp deterioration in the situation facing vulnerable asylum-seekers and refugees in Tripoli,” said Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR’s Special Envoy for the Western and Central Mediterranean Situation. “The Libyan authorities must come up with a proper plan that respects their rights and identifies durable solutions.”

UNHCR said some 3,000 people are currently sheltering outside the Community Day Centre in Tripoli, many of whom were affected by the raids and demolition of their homes, have escaped from detention in terrible conditions. Others have joined the group hoping to be evacuated.

The agency called on Libyan authorities to respect the human rights and dignity of asylum-seekers and refugees, stop their arbitrary arrest and release them from detention.

 

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