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Migrants vulnerable to abuse in Libyan detention centers

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LIBYAPROSPECT – London

Human Rights Watch warned that the European Union measures on tackling the migrant crisis, and the flow of migrants from Libya poses a risk to the safety of asylum seekers who fall victim to “violent abuse” by the armed groups situated in Libya.

Recent reports suggest that the migrants face all sorts of abuse, including “torture, rape, and killings in squalid detention centers.” The violence in Libya has pushed people who previously had aspirations to work there to take a dangerous trip to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. According to the Human Rights Watch, many migrants said that they face abuse at the hands of Libyan government officials, militiamen, smugglers and criminal gangs.

The EU has expanded its anti-smuggling operation in the central Mediterranean and also asked NATO to support the operation. According to multiple Rights groups and experts, there are approximately 3,500 migrants held in about 20 official detention facilities across Libya; others are held in informal detention centers controlled by militias and criminal gangs.