Press release by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Felipe González Morales, and the Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer.
“The Special Rapporteurs expressed concern that the European Commission was trying to move Europe’s borders to Libya. They highlighted that, under international law, migrants should be allowed to disembark at the nearest port where their lives and freedom would not be threatened, and should then receive information, care and equitable processing of their asylum claims.
“Libya simply cannot be regarded as a safe place to disembark and the EU policy is in denial of this fact,” they said. “Migrants intercepted by the Libyan coast guard will face indefinite detention in dire and inhumane conditions, at risk of death, torture or other severe human rights violations, without any judicial review.”
Libyan detention centres were severely overcrowded with inadequate access to toilets, washing facilities, ventilation, food and clean water, they noted. Detainees also lacked access to a legal process or lawyers.
The human rights experts also highlighted that migrants in Libya risked labor exploitation and were vulnerable to other forms of contemporary slavery; while women were at risk of rape and other sexual violence.”