Scapegoats of Fear: Rights of Refugees, Asylum-Seekers and Migrants Abused in Libya

Report
June 19, 2013

Scapegoats of Fear: Rights of Refugees, Asylum-Seekers and Migrants Abused in Libya

In sharp contrast with the EU's external policies, in 2012, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the "situation of migrants in Libya". It called, among other things, on the EU and its member states to "commit to enter into further agreements on migration control with Libya only after Libya demonstrates that it respects and protects the human rights of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants and puts in place satisfactory systems for assessing and recognising claims for international protection." The resolution also calls on the European Union to "ensure adequate monitoring mechanisms are in place to ensure that human rights are observed in practice". Sadly, EU assistance to the Libyan authorities does not appear to be driven by principles enshrined in the Returns directive and calls included in the European Parliament's resolution, and instead contributes to perpetuating human rights abuses.

This briefing is based on the findings of a visit by Amnesty International delegates to Libya in April and May 2013, as well as other research conducted before and since. In addition to visiting seven migrant "holding centres" in Benghazi, al-Zawiya, Gharyan, Sabha, Misrata and Tripoli as well as the Libyan Red Crescent Camp in Benghazi, and speaking to detainees and officials at these facilities, Amnesty International interviewed government officials from the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice, Libyan and international NGOs, and United Nations agencies. In total, Amnesty International conducted 69 group and individual interviews with foreign nationals at these facilities.

Names and other identifying details of individuals whose cases are featured in this briefing, as well as the names and exact locations of some "holding centres", militias or security agencies have been withheld to protect people from further abuse and reprisals, or to respect their wishes.