Date: Saturday, 08 June 2019
Migrants and refugees suffering from tuberculosis are being left to die in Libyan detention centers and those captured by the Coast Guard have reportedly disappeared.
The United Nations (U.N.) denounced the atrocious conditions of migrant detention centers in Libya with reports of dozens left untreated and dying from tuberculosis and hundreds of others trying to survive on starvation rations.
U.N. rights office spokesman Rupert Colville made a statement to the press about a recent visit by the OHCHR to the Zintan detention center, where 654 refugees and migrants are being held.
“We are deeply concerned about the ghastly conditions in which migrants and refugees are being held in Libya.” Colville added that in the Zintan facility, located south of the capital of Tripoli, "22 people have died of tuberculosis and other illnesses since last September," and 60 people are suffering from tuberculosis have been locked in a hangar, which he described as a "hellhole".
He warned the conditions there may “amount to inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, and may also amount to torture,” also reporting some people there receiving only "one meal of 200 grams of plain pasta per day."
At the same time, he said 30 people, all Christians and suffering from the often deadly but treatable bacterial infection had been moved to the detention center at Gharyan "to die there because there are no burial facilities for Christians in Zintan.”
According to the U.N. rights office, some 3,400 migrants and refugees are currently detained in Tripoli. Since April, the capital has seen a surge in fighting between rival forces vying for its control.
Despite the uncontrolled violence and lack of public safety, 2,300 people have been picked up in the Mediterranean Sea and put in detention facilities in a country devastated by war.
Colville also expressed concern that other migrants have been sold into forced labor 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, which is backed by the United Nations, to launch an investigation to locate the missing migrants.