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Migrants in Libya cry for help: We are treated like criminals

Migrants in Libya have tragic stories and anecdotes. Since the country plunged into chaos years ago, its coasts and lands have turned into a transit point for every seeker towards Europe in the hope of a better life, and to escape the scourge of his country. However, this asylum journey quickly turned into a nightmare.

The picture inside the refugee detention cellars is bleak, and this was confirmed by the thousands of migrants who were stuck in them during previous testimonies.

On Sunday, hundreds of migrants and refugees waited in front of a United Nations center in Tripoli to seek help in leaving Libya after a violent campaign in which thousands were arrested and many of them shot.

The immigrants also confirmed that they were subjected to violent violations and extortion in a country that has not enjoyed much peace for ten years

Beaten and torture without food

“We are not guilty of anything but that we emigrated from our country … but they treat us as criminals, not refugees,” said Mohamed Abdullah, 25, from Sudan, according to Reuters.

He also added that he was beaten and tortured during his detention in five different centers in Libya, and that he did not find a way to shelter or food.

In turn, Matar Ahmed Ismail, 27, from Sudan, “also stated that he was beaten a lot and saw humiliation in prisons.”

He also confirmed that hundreds of migrants were beaten and tortured.

Refugees and migrants in Tripoli, Libya (Reuters)


Perhaps all these testimonies and tragedies have prompted thousands over the past few days to seek help from the United Nations, as hundreds have piled up in front of the international center in the capital, Tripoli.

Many of the refugees slept on the sidewalk, looking like they had bruises on their heads, feet or hands.

Some of them also seemed unable to walk without a crutch or the assistance of a friend.

Dozens spoke of hunger, despair and mistreatment they suffered at polling stations.

For its part, UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, explained that it is trying to help those waiting at the center, and urged the crowds to disperse so that it could help the neediest groups.

Refugees and migrants in Tripoli, Libya (Reuters)

It also added that it was ready to help organize humanitarian flights to leave Libya.

Complicated matter!

On the other hand, the Libyan government confirmed that it was “dealing with a complex issue represented in the illegal immigration file because of the human tragedy it represents, in addition to its social, political and legal consequences locally and internationally.”

This accumulation in front of the UN center came days after the armed forces in Tripoli launched a series of campaigns and mass arrests, which led to the detention of more than five thousand people in overcrowded centers, which prompted relief and human rights groups to express their concern.

The United Nations’ International Organization for Migration confirmed that guards at a center killed at least six migrants last Friday, after overcrowding led to chaos, and dozens managed to flee the area before being arrested again.