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Libya: Hundreds detained in renewed crackdown on migrants and refugees

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Libya: Hundreds detained in renewed crackdown on migrants and refugees

This is the culmination of a disastrous situation that has deteriorated in recent months.

OSLO, Norway, January 10, 2022 / APO Group / –

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) are alarmed by the arrest of more than 600 migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in front of the former Community Day Center in Tripoli this morning.

The center used to provide humanitarian assistance to refugees and asylum seekers before it was permanently closed in December.

Dax Roque, Libya Country Director for the Norwegian Refugee Council, said:

“We are alarmed by the detention of hundreds of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, including women and children, who were camped out in front of the former Community Day Center in Tripoli. Witnesses have told us that violence was encountered this morning and makeshift tents were burned. This is the culmination of a disastrous situation that has deteriorated in recent months. Since the mass detention of thousands of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in October last year, the situation of this population in Libya has only worsened ”.

Thomas Garofalo, Country Director of the International Rescue Committee, said:

“Our medical teams have been supporting the wounded during this morning’s arrests, including one person who suffered a gunshot wound. We understand that hundreds of people, including many women and children, have now been sent to detention centers where conditions are often already dire. As we enter a new year, the unfolding events should act as one more reminder that the current situation of migrants and refugees in Libya is unsustainable and requires a new approach that respects the rights of people on the move. “

Humanitarian agencies call on the Libyan authorities to immediately release the detainees, particularly women, children and refugees, and protect them from further violence. They also urge the international community to immediately expand resettlement and other safe and regular pathways for refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants wishing to leave Libya.

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