Amnesty International criticized, in a statement on Monday, the "deplorable" and "ruthless" policies of the European Union regarding the response to the migration crisis in the Mediterranean.
“Due to the ruthless policies of EU states to prevent the arrival of thousands of men, women and children on European coasts, they are trapped in Libya, exposed to terrible violations. To this is sadly added the deplorable inadequacy of the assistance provided by these states to allow refugees to protect themselves through regular channels “.
Amnesty reiterated that "migrants and refugees detained in Libyan detention centers are regularly subjected to torture, extortion and rape".
Amnesty criticized the repeated sending of people to a UNHCR-sponsored reception center in Libya, "which only secures a thousand refugees from detention centers where they are exposed to violations", adding, "this center is undoubtedly a progress, but it only helps a small part of the imprisoned refugees and it is not a lasting solution “. Amnesty said that, over the past two years, EU member states have put in place a series of measures to block migration in the central Mediterranean "by concluding agreements with militias in Libya and hindering the work of NGOs conducting research operations and rescue ".
“As the central Mediterranean Sea is almost completely closed and the Libyan authorities illegally detain refugees in detention and refuse to release them into UNHCR custody, evacuation to another country through UN-run programs is the the only way out of the Libyan detention centers ".
Amnesty also criticized Libya for its "intolerable detention policy". The organization specified that “the armed clashes that took place this year in Tripoli between August and September have made the situation even more dangerous for refugees and migrants. People held in detention centers were injured by stray bullets. It also happened that the prison guards fled to avoid the danger of rocket fire leaving thousands of inmates without food and water “.