Migrants in Libya risk 'brutal violence'

2015-11-16 19:04
Migrants wait in Catania harbour after being rescued by the Italian coast guard. (Dario Azzaro, AFP)

Migrants wait in Catania harbour after being rescued by the Italian coast guard. (Dario Azzaro, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tripoli - Migrants who travel to Libya hoping to reach the shores of Europe risk "brutal violence" at the hands of people smugglers, a United Nations report said on Monday.

The report said "refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants, particularly from sub-Saharan Africa, ... are increasingly vulnerable to killing, detention in inhumane conditions, torture, kidnapping, physical assault, armed robbery and exploitation".

Many "become victims of brutal violence, coercion and abuse perpetrated by smugglers along smuggling routes", said the report, published jointly by the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN Human Rights Office.

It also said "many reported torture intended to extract more money from their families, in what appeared to be coordinated action from criminal gangs based in countries of origin as well as transit".

"Some also reported that women were taken away at night and sexually abused," said the report covering the period between last December and October.

Detention centres in and around Tripoli often house up to 5 000 migrants stranded in a country wracked by chaos since the fall of long serving leader Muammar Gaddafi in Libya's 2011 revolution.

The North African country has for years been a stepping stone for migrants seeking to reach Europe, but smugglers have stepped up their lucrative business as two rival administrations and militias battle for control of the oil-rich country.

Read more on:    libya  |  migrants  |  north africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.